- Tal Pinchevsky of NHL.com: Former Kings owner Jerry Buss had floated the idea of trading for Wayne Gretzky, and when Bruce McNall bought 25 percent of the team in 1986, the talk increased. McNall bought the remaining shares of the Kings in 1988.
“When I bought the team, [Buss] told me, ‘I’ve been trying to talk to Peter Pocklington about Gretzky.’ We all kind of laughed. But the fact that he brought up the subject gave me a sense that I could actually make that call,” McNall told NHL.com. “[Pocklington] would blow me off and say, ‘Yeah, right.’ I kept pushing it.”
After the NHL awards that season.
“Bruce McNall leaned over and said, ‘I’ll give you $15 million, plus some players.’ At that time, $15 million was $18.5 million Canadian,” Pocklington told NHL.com. “I said, ‘Let me think about it,’ and called him a week later and said, ‘I could live with that.'”
Pocklington only called one other team regarding Gretzky, the Red Wings, as he knew that Gretzky would have loved to play for the Wings.
“I tried to reach [Detroit Red Wings owner] Mike Ilitch, because I knew Wayne would have loved to go to Detroit,” Pocklington said. “But it was basically done so quickly, and that was it. There was never a bidding war. There probably should have been, looking back.”
Gretzky insisted that Marty McSorley was part of the trade.
“Wayne said to me, ‘Make sure you get McSorley.’ I worked that out pretty quickly, although Sather was not happy about the idea,” McNall said. “Then they wanted [Luc] Robitaille and I said no.”
The trade ended up being Gretzky, McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, first round picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993, along with $15 million in cash.
- Dmitry Chesnokov: Hurricanes Alexander Semin hasn’t fully recovered from his wrist surgery. He’s headed back to the U.S. this weekend to rehab.
- Ryan Dadoun of Pro Hockey Talk: According to Sovetsky Sport and through a THW translation, Kings prospect Nikolai Prokhorkin after signing a one-year contract extension with CSKA Moscow.
“Los Angeles really wanted to sign me, they even sent their scouts in Russia, but they didn’t give me any guarantee that I’d play in the NHL, they can still demote me down.”