LOS ANGELES — For the last few weeks, the National Hockey League has gone on a serious media blitz.
To be sure, the league shifted their public relations staff and writers for their official web site into overdrive in pumping out daily e-mails to members of the media as well as feature stories for their web site, all to cover what might be the most significant event in NHL history over the last twenty years…
…August 9, 1988, the date of biggest trade in sports history, when the Edmonton Oilers traded The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, to the Los Angeles Kings.
Indeed, the 20th anniversary of the trade is featured on the NHL’s web site. The Oilers are also highlighting Gretzky’s time with the team on their web site and even the Phoenix Coyotes, where Gretzky owns a share of the team and is the alternate governor and head coach, is in on the act with a feature on the trade.
Of course, Gretzky and the anniversary of the big trade is the top feature on the Kings’ web site as of this writing.
The NHL’s media blitz has also been extremely successful in getting the media to publish their own features on the anniversary of the trade as well, as you can find at least one story—usually more than that—on all the major sports news web sites and on all of the NHL-specific media web sites.
Frozen Royalty would only be duplicating the fine work of all these sites and you can easily find and read all of those stories, so I will only say that I agree with all of them in that it was a momentous trade, not just for the Oilers and especially the Kings, but for the entire hockey world. The NHL, as we know it today, would be very, very different if Gretzky did not spend eight seasons of his career in a Kings uniform.
Without question, the entire hockey world owes a great debt of gratitude to Gretzky for his tireless work to grow the game. Throughout his career, he knew his impact and contributions off the ice were just as important as what he did on the ice—the game ha...