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Trade at 25: The Gretzky trade's impact on NHL boardrooms

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TSN.ca Staff
8/6/2013 10:40:16 PM
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How do you trade the greatest player of a generation?

At the end of the day, sometimes it's not about talent, but about dollars and cents.

TSN and TSN.ca continue to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the trade that sent Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings with a look at how the deal impacted the business of hockey.

Tuesday's edition of SportsCentre presented “The Gretzky Gold Rush,” a special look at the effect the trade had on the economics of the NHL.

TSN DRIVE host Dave Naylor told the story as SportsCentre took a look at how “The Trade” has affected boardrooms across the NHL to this very day.

When then-Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall tore up Gretzky's 25-year, $25 million contract, it changed the game and the very definition of a player's worth.

"The minute that happened, we all knew nobody was worth Gretzky, but everybody knew that they could get a little bit higher," said Luc Robitaille, Gretzky's Kings teammate.

McNall immediately raised the ire of fellow NHL owners for what they perceived to be a complete overhaul of the marketplace.

"All I heard from the other owners is how I ruined their pay scale," explained McNall. "All of a sudden they have to pay [more for] all of these players. I said 'No, you don't.' Do they draw? Do they draw like Wayne does?"

TSN.ca will also be featuring a host of exclusive content all week long at www.tsn.ca/tradeat25.

Visit the site now for videos from 1988, including Gretzky's famous farewell press conference as well as vintage SportsCentre clips from the day the trade broke as well as clips from Monday's SportsCentre feature, “Gretzky's Children.”

TSN.ca will also be posting photo galleries all week long examining how “The Trade” has had a ripple effect through the NHL that is still being felt today.

Interact with TSN on various social media platforms as well - including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - for vintage Gretzky photos, trivia questions and links to exclusive TSN.ca content all week long.

Bruce McNall (Photo: George Rose/Getty Images)

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(Photo: George Rose/Getty Images)
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