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The Trade: How L.A.’s Reception of Gretzky Doomed the NHL

Published by on April 22, 2009
Article Source: Bleacher Report - NHL

The NHL is expected to be walloped by the recession this year, bringing even more misfortune to the once-great, presently struggling league. Every hockey fan remembers the excruciating lockout of 2004-2005 and the subsequent fallout, but the canceled season certainly didn’t represent the beginning of the NHL’s demise.

Rather, the lockout was the culmination of a chain reaction that began on August 9th, 1988, the day the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings.

Gretzky was at the peak of his career at the time of the trade, having just won his fourth Stanley Cup in the past five seasons. In addition, the NHL was enjoying skyrocketing popularity thanks to Gretzky’s unprecedented ...

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