The trade of Wayne Gretzky 25 years ago Friday is one that is remembered in two totally different ways depending on where your allegiances lie. It was an earth-shattering day that turned the hockey world upside down.
It was also a whirlwind couple of days where Gretzky and others rode the proverbial emotional roller coaster. It was certainly a tale of two press conferences that started with a very emotional good bye in Edmonton.
Some have wondered whether Gretzky's tears were real or contrived but I have little doubt they were pure. Whether or not he was sad to leave Edmonton, he had a lot of good times and good teammates there, it's not easy to say good bye in that spot, no matter the relationship with the owner.
In complete contrast to the somber scene was the virtual party they had for Gretzky in LA. Then Kings owner Bruce McNall, the man who orchestrated the deal, spoke with LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen about the introduction in LA.
It was a bit surreal. Having come back from the Edmonton press conference, which was very emotional, I didn't know what to expect from our press conference because normally for the Kings, if you had a beat writer and some local TV station, that would be a big press conference for us. So when I got to the chairs there, it was a mob scene. I couldn't believe the attention we were already getting. By the time we got up there, and I did the announcement of Wayne, which at the same time debuted colors…and holding up the colors and having Wayne there, it was just surreal. I feel like I just couldn't believe it. It was a moment that I couldn't recreate in my life again. It was just amazing. I was a little bit shocked that it actually was happening, that this was going down, actually.
Here's what that looked like.
Indeed, a tale of two press conferences.