TSN's award-winning news team rewinds to August 9, 1988 and captures unique stories surrounding Wayne Gretzky's blockbuster trade from Edmonton to Los Angeles with SPORTSCENTRE PRESENTS: THE TRADE AT 25. TSN's week-long series marks the 25th anniversary of 'The Trade' that captivated a nation with five compelling features examining its social, cultural, and economic impact (see below for details).
In addition to features led by respected sports journalists Michael Farber and Dave Naylor, SPORTSCENTRE PRESENTS: THE TRADE AT 25 also includes an original mash-up by DJ Steve Porter. A new feature will premiere daily from August 5-9 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE. All features will also be available on demand at TSN.ca.
"We set out to create a different look at the Gretzky trade after 25 years and uncover unique stories," said Ken Volden, Vice-President and Executive Producer, News and Studio Production, TSN. "Between the celebrity factor, rumours, and emotion, The Trade was bigger than sports and made for a great palette for our producers to draw some great stories."
SPORTSCENTRE PRESENTS: THE TRADE AT 25 includes the following features:
• Premieres: Monday, Aug. 5 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
• Hosted by: Michael Farber
• Synopsis: Wayne Gretzky's trade to Los Angeles triggered expansion across the American Sunbelt. NHL franchises in non-traditional markets created youth development programs to help foster interest in the game. Twenty-five years later, some of those athletes are making an impact at the highest levels of sport, including Anaheim Ducks forward Emerson Etem and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett – both ex-roller hockey players from southern California.
• Quote: "He's helped and he doesn't even realize it…I think Beau [Bennett] can say the same thing. If it wasn't for Gretzky…maybe we would've been playing football – anything really could've happened. I love the game of hockey and I wouldn't want it any other way." – Emerson Etem, Anaheim Ducks forward
THE GRETZKY GOLD RUSH
• Premieres: Tuesday, Aug. 6 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
• Hosted by: Dave Naylor
• Synopsis: The Wayne Gretzky trade had an impact on hockey business well beyond Los Angeles and Edmonton. When Kings owner Bruce McNall ripped up Gretzky's Oilers contract to hand him a series of massive pay hikes, it helped send hockey's pay scale skyward and changed the business of the game forever.
• Quote: "I remember clearly a lot of players thinking 'wow, Wayne's going to get over a million dollars'…it was over two million…everyone said 'what?' I mean he helped every single player…because his contract was double what everyone was expecting." – Luc Robitaille, NHL Hall of Fame player and former teammate of Wayne Gretzky
THE KID IN THE SHADOW
• Premieres: Wednesday, Aug. 7 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
• Hosted by: Dave Naylor
• Synopsis: This is the story of Jimmy Carson, the American-born player traded into a tight knit Oilers locker room as part of the Gretzky trade. THE KID IN THE SHADOW examines how Carson coped with living up to the unattainable expectations of replacing a living legend – and how these expectations led to his eventual exit from Edmonton only a year after The Trade.
• Quote: "It was a situation where I was the symbol of the angst of 'why the hell did we just get rid of Wayne Gretzky'? Arguably the greatest player of all time…" – Jimmy Carson
DJ STEVE PORTER: "I PROMISED MESS"
• Premieres: Thursday, Aug. 8 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
• Synopsis: The award-winning DJ Steve Porter debuts his latest sports mash-up, which transforms old news footage about the Wayne Gretzky trade into a remix, centering on the infamous press conference at which Gretzky says, "I promised Mess I wouldn't do this."
EDMONTON THEN AND NOW
• Premieres: Friday, Aug. 9 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
• Hosted by: Ryan Rishaug
• Synopsis: SPORTSCENTRE's Edmonton reporter Ryan Rishaug hits the streets of Edmonton to talk to fans about The Great One leaving their city and the Oilers dynasty.
TSN's special coverage of the 25th anniversary of The Trade also includes the following:
30 FOR 30: A KINGS RANSOM
TSN presents an encore presentation of ESPN Films' critically-acclaimed 30 FOR 30: A KINGS RANSOM on Friday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Directed by Peter Berg, the 60-minute documentary examines the effect the trade had on Gretzky, the fans in Edmonton, and the popularity of hockey in southern California.
TSN.ca hosts vintage trade-related videos, including the entire Wayne Gretzky press conference from 25 years ago and old TSN and CTV news reports. Additional TSN.ca highlights include:
• Six Degrees of Separation infographics – with one tracing the Gretzky trade all the way to the Oilers getting Jordan Eberle.
• All features available on demand
TSN and TEAM Radio
TSN and TEAM Radio stations across the country pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of The Trade with special guests and coverage.
ESPN Classic commemorates the 25th anniversary of the big trade by dedicating the week of August 5 to No. 99. The network takes fans through Gretzky's biggest moments in the league – from his home debut in the NHL, to his debut as a King, and his final game before retiring (click here for a complete broadcast schedule).
Monday, Aug. 5
• GRETZKY'S CHILDREN – 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
Tuesday, Aug. 6
• THE GRETZKY GOLD RUSH – 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
Wednesday, Aug. 7
• THE KID IN THE SHADOW – 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
Thursday, Aug. 8
• DJ STEVE PORTER: "I PROMISED MESS" – 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
Friday, Aug. 9
• EDMONTON THEN AND NOW – 6 p.m. ET edition of SPORTSCENTRE
• 30 FOR 30: A KINGS RANSOM – 7:30 p.m. ET