“Was Never Going To…”: Wayne Gretzky Had an Emotional Conversation With Father After Being ‘Surprised and Hurt’ During His Worst Career Phase in 1988

Published 02/05/2023, 1:15 PM EST

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In August 1988, Wayne Gretzky was living a fairytale life after marrying Janet Jones. But it changed to its worst within a few. Wayne Gretzky, the man who took the Oilers to four Stanley Cups in the last five years, was suddenly transferred to a new team. This was a shock, not only to the fans but also to the man of the moment. Gretzky was stunned after getting to know about the sudden change of events. The first person he talked about was his father. 

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The biography of Wayne Gretzky describes the incident when ‘the Great One’ initially came to know about the trade. 

Wayne Gretzky was disappointed by Oilers’ owner’s attitude

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The 1998 trade from Edmonton Oilers to Los Angeles Kings is still considered one of the most shocking turns of events in NHL history. Gretzky was on his honeymoon when he received a call from Bruce McNall, the former owner of the LA Kings. McNall informed him about the trade. “You’re kidding”, Gretzky replied in shock. 

The news was a great blow to his dedication and self-confidence. ‘The Great One’ was upset by the fact that he deserved to get this release news from the Oilers’ owner. He did everything to take the team to new heights, and it broke him to see such a cold attitude from the team owner. 

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“They Don’t Really Care What the Wives Think”: Wayne Gretzky Made a Saddening Confession Following His Infamous Trade In 1988

Gretzky’s first call went to his biggest supporter and mentor, Walter Gretzky. Wayne went through a fury of emotions as he talked with his father. “I told him I’d already made up my mind I was never going to wear an Oilers uniform again,” Gretzky wrote in his autobiography. During the difficult times, Gretzky’s father was always standing with him. However, the senior Gretzky also once made a bizarre comment after the trade. 

Gretzky’s father’s take on the trade

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Wayne Gretzky had gotten married to the American actress Janet Jones just a few days before the trading incident. After the news came to the surface, there was a popular notion that the Canadian player chose to go to the LA Kings to spend more time with his wife. Even his father had a unique take on the trade. 

He said that this was the only time he is watching an owner doing an $18 million favor for a wife. Despite all the controversies, Gretzky managed to get out of the emotional trauma as he dominated the ice rink with his new team. 

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WATCH THIS STORY: Swimmer Katie Ledecky Receives Same Honour as Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, and Michael Jordan

It seemed like only the changed color of his jersey didn’t change his attitude and dedication towards the game. 

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Written by:

Shivam Sharma

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Shivam Sharma is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, he has previously worked as a writer and an anchor for Navbharat Today, penning down and explaining issues around sports, politics, and international relations. He is an admirer of Virat Kohli for the passion that he brings to the field.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi

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