Musings —02.22.2011 07:39 AM—
We lampooned The Great One mercilessly. For example, my Calgary buddies and I called him “Whine Gripesky,” and we told mean jokes about him. (To wit: “How do you get Wayne Gretzky to go into the corners? Start a fight at centre ice.”)
That was good for a few laughs until August 1988, of course, when Gretzky was traded to Los Angeles, and he had a teary-eyed press conference to confirm that he was indeed leaving Canada for the United States. At the time, me and my Cowtown pals were a bit teary eyed, too. So, indeed, was the nation. The New Democrats demanded that the government block the trade, and Oilers owner Peter Pocklington was burned in effigy in Edmonton.