|Wayne Gretzky speaks at a press conference announcing his trade to the Los Angeles Kings from the Edmonton Oilers, on August 9, 1988. (Getty Images)
Twenty-three years ago today, the NHL was rocked by the biggest trade in hockey history. The Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky, the centerpiece of a dynasty that had just won the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in five years, to the Los Angeles Kings for young talent, draft picks -- and $15 million.
Gretzky had already shredded numerous NHL scoring marks, including goals and points in a season, while helping the Oilers pile up goals in a way the League had never seen. The deal pumped life into the Kings, a franchise that had always struggled for attention in Los Angeles, while stunning Edmonton and the rest of Canada.
Gretzky went on to play 11 seasons after the trade before retiring in 1998-99 after three seasons with the New York Rangers. He left the NHL with more than 60 records to his credit.