Description1988-89 Wayne Gretzky Game Worn, Signed Los Angeles Kings Jersey. Just two hours after hoisting the Stanley Cup over his head to punctuate one of the most glorious moments in Edmonton Oilers history, Gretzky learned from his father that team owner Peter Pocklington intended to cash him in to cover losses in other business ventures. The result was one of the most significant trades in NHL history, as The Great One would change the course of Kings history with his move to the City of Angels. "The Trade," as it came to be known, was so unsettling to Canadians that the New Democratic Party House Leader Nelson Riis demanded that the government intercede to block it, and Pocklington was burned in effigy outside the Northlands Coliseum. Many in Canada considered Gretzky himself to be a traitor to his nation, concluding that the move was made to deliver his movie star wife to a home near Hollywood.
Presented here is one of the very first jerseys ever worn by this brightest of all hockey stars in his new California home, a sight that still breaks the hearts of millions of neighbors to the north. The black Los Angeles Kings sweater features the team logo on the chest, with the alternate captain's "A" affixed with velcro to upper left chest. Intriguingly, the 1988-89 Kings team rotated alternate captain's, and a swatch of velcro was affixed to players' jerseys so that the letter could be applied when necessary. Gretzky's fabled number "99" is affixed to each sleeve and verso, where "Gretzky" is spelled across rear nameplate.
Genuine Gretzky gamers are famous for their multitudes of customizations, and such personalized tailoring features are exact to the letter here. The hemmed-up cuffs and custom sleeves are post-factory alterations, as are two patches of velcro sewn into the lower right hem. An embroidered number "99" patch in black on white is attached inside the lower hem beside the CCM logo. Also note the lack of a fight strap, clipped at the black reinforcement rectangle, another key Gretzky trait.
"Maska" label is present at interior collar and shows fine, sweaty wear. At least a dozen stick marks and slashes can be found in the white striping of the sleeves, with more visible upon closer inspection of the black fabric. Blood staining on the left sleeve appears surrounding a small unrepaired hole, providing the game's most desirable DNA. Magnificent provenance is the final feather in the cap, as the sweater was personally given to former NHL standout John Cullen after his diagnosis of cancer late in his professional career, according to a letter from noted hockey collectibles expert Brad Foote. LOA from Brad Foote. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).
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