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Aug.9/88

All talk about the Edmonton Oilers
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Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:21 pm
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:31 am
I always think about that summer. It was a massive summer in my life. The Oilers were the champs. I graduated high school (and I thought that day would never come). We moved to a new house. I bought my first car, and while listening to the radio in my 1984 Toyota Celica, I learned the greatest player in the world had been traded. I'll always remember the summer of 1988. It contained so many great memories, yet it's remembered most for heartbreak. I somehow new that it was the beginning of the end of the most magical era of hockey. We'd win Stanley one more time, but it all systematically was coming apart. My dad didn't renew his season tickets that year. We'd been season ticket holders since day one. I witnessed some of the greatest games ever played. A boy grew up to be a man, watching the greatest player, play the greatest game. It all ended that summer. I still love the Oil. I still love the game. Just not exactly in the same way.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:26 pm
I was 13, going on 14 during that time. I boycotted the Oilers the year after the trade. I wanted to do it for a longer time, but that was pretty much all I could take. When I came back to the Oilers, I wasn't really quite the same fan. They became my 2nd favorite team for a bit, and my previous 2nd favorite (the Habs) became my first. Sometime during the time when all the good players were gone and this team was all blue-collar, I started to like the team. Even though they were a struggling team (compared to the dynasty), I liked them a lot. I admired the fact that these guys were low on skill, but big on heart and could do great things on occasion, despite their lack of talent. Since that point (mid 90s??) I've loved the Oilers wholeheartedly and that will never change.

That Gretzky trade was the worst move ever, as we all know. Only Pocklington would pull that off, despite what he is trying to sell to everyone. He was up to his eyeballs in debt and needed a way out. He sold Gretzky for double the team's current combined salary (got $15M, and admitted that it the combined salary that year was about $7-8M). Sather said he didn't think anyone else would ever do this, especially someone like Katz.

Pock insists that he told Sather he had to trade Gretzky, and let him handle the deal. In reality, Pocklington had a deal already lined up with McNall, and thankfully Sather got more out of the deal. In fact, I guess Sather tried to back out of it, but apparently McNall threatened to sue over it.

I'll probably never forgive Pocklington. I'm glad the Oilers stayed though.. losing the entire team would have been a lot worse, obviously. I'm not sure if he could have sold the team to another owner at the time, or what, but that would have been the best choice if it were possible. What bothers me most about Pocklington is he always wants to blame everyone else for the trade, and not take any ownership of it himself.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:35 pm
Gretzky as an Oiler was just a lil bit ahead of my time. I only caught the Oilers last cup win in 1990 (my first year as a hockey fan). So for me the trade that really hurt was the Messier one. I was just as heartbroken by the moose getting traded as most older Oiler fans were with the Gretz trade.

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