For this week’s edition of TRH Throwback Thursday… we are going to take a look at an important hockey event that absolutely no one anywhere is talking about right now.

Just Kidding!

For we here at The Royal Half, August 9th, 1988 is one of the most important days of our life. The trade of Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles made me an incredibly passionate 11 year-old Los Angeles Kings hockey fan… and, well… I think we all know exactly just what Wayne Gretzky was able to do within the sport of hockey after his trade to Los Angeles.

Never win anything again.

So to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade (which is a constant reminder of just how old we are getting)… The Royal Half’s Official LA Kings Historian, Spike Coffman, has an extra-special Throwback Thursday in which we take a deeper look at the LA Kings versus the Detroit Red Wings from October 6th, 1988… better known as Wayne Gretzky’s first game as a Los Angeles King. And boy… did TSN ever pull out all the stops!

I’ve seen better graphics on a bong.

Let’s take a look at how these two teams matched up heading into this momentous game!

I bet Demers is going to have a hard time reading Gretzky’s line tonight.
No, seriously… he is.

Jacques Demers couldn’t read. But Robbie Ftorek was obviously blind.

No, NHL goaltending hasn’t changed at all… why do you ask?

This game was so long ago it was played at the height of the Third Reich.

Of course, in true Hollywood fashion… all of the celebrities paid top dollar to get a glimpse of the hottest new thing in LA.

Every 1980s game show host was there…

Julia Robert’s boyfriend was there…

Fat Colin Hanks was there…


and k.d. lang was there.
25 years ago we had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash and Alex P. Keaton…
…now we have no jobs, no cash and check out The Michael J. Fox Show, this fall… only on NBC!

Alright… enough with the paparazzi. Let’s watch some late 1980s NHL hockey! Or rather… some late 1980s NHL hockey introductions!!!

I can’t imagine how many LA Kings fans are wiping the tears away from their eyes right now…
when they remember just awful the team was besides Gretzky.

And let’s be honest… if there was a big event going on in the late 1980s… everybody’s favorite Traveling Wilbury was there.

Lefty Wilbury forever.

And what every true LA Kings fan that was in attendance already knew… Wayne Gretzky quickly discovered.

The LA Kings were not that good of a hockey team.
Seriously… it’s 1988… you might want to put a body on Steve Yzerman, huh?

And then… the 1st of 246 goals.

I miss the good ole days of hockey.
You know… when Tarantella Napoletana worked just fine as a goal celebration song.

After the 1st period comes to a close, TSN wanted to give Edmonton Oilers fans a close-up look at the man that would eventually tear their franchise apart and destroy it.

This might be the one time in history where the trading of Wayne Gretzky was compared to the deaths of John Kennedy and Elvis Presley.

The most amazing part of this video is Mark Messier with hair.

“I was at Madonna’s apartment.”

And since this is Hollywood… the announcers couldn’t go more than 20 minutes without talking about fashion.

Once the 2nd period began… the LA Kings did the one thing that they were able to do in the late 1980s…

Score goals!

After 2 periods, it was 6-2 Los Angeles. And that could only mean one thing!


Worst. Cold War. Ever.

Remember, John Candy… if there is one trend that never goes out of style,
it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs losing.

Now, let’s head to the 3rd Period… where Luc Robitaille shows Wayne Gretzky just who the great one is in Los Angeles.

You know that Wayne Gretzky is the greatest player of all-time
when Tim Tookey feels confident enough to shoot the puck.

Wayne Gretzky would go on to score 168 points that season,
Luc Robitaille would hit 98 points and Bernie Nicholls would score 70 goals.
And the LA Kings still finished 26 points behind the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division.

You know that you are watching old highlights when the Calgary Flames are good in them.

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.