Wayne Gretzky made hockey history, and now one of his incredible pieces of memorabilia, a stick used in the Edmonton Oilers’ 1988 Stanley Cup Final game, is going up for auction through Sotheby’s Sealed Tuesday through July 25.
Winning the only Stanley Cup is a dream come true for many NHL players. For the legendary Wayne Gretzky, that dream came true four times during his time with the Edmonton Oilers. The used-stick game was used by Gretzky in Game 5 of the 1988 Stanley Cup Final when the Oilers reigned victorious by beating the Boston Bruins 6-3.
Gretzky scored the fourth goal for the Oilers that night, contributing two assists, and was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player; this would be the last time he won the Stanley Cup.
During Gretzky’s nine years with the Oilers from 1979 to 1988, the forward accomplished unimaginable feats in the NHL, 61 of which remain all-time records still held or shared by the great. In his 20 years in the NHL, while playing for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers, he scored 894 goals and 2,857 points in a total of 1,487 games between the five teams.
The memorabilia is estimated to fetch more than US$500,000 at auction.
“To have something like this is truly remarkable,” said Brahm Wachter, director of modern streetwear and collectibles at Sotheby’s.
“You’re talking about the greatest to ever walk the ice and you’re talking about his last championship, which of course helped cement his name in the history books.”
THE NHL NOTEBOOK IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
Kraken re-signs Dunn
On Friday afternoon, the Seattle Kraken re-signed restricted free agent and top defenseman Vince Dunn to a four-year contract extension worth $29.4 million and an AAV of $7.35 million.
Seattle first acquired the blueliner from the St. Louis Blues in 2021 when he went unprotected during the NHL Expansion Draft for them to protect Colton Parayko, Torey Krug and Justin Faulk. Dunn quickly adjusted to his new colors, rising to the top four of the Kraken.
Dunn had the highest year of his career last season, scoring 14 goals and 64 points with a plus/minus of +28 in the best defensive pairing with Adam Larsson. The deal is solid for both Kraken, who will benefit from a deal that is not a lengthy long-term commitment and gives the 26-year-old the eligibility to become an unrestricted free agent when the deal expires in 2026-27.
CapFriendly shared a more detailed rundown of Dunn’s new contract with Kraken later on Friday. The lefty defenseman will receive $9 million in 2023-24, $8 million in 2024-25, $7 million in 2025-26 and $5.4 million in 2026-27.
Dunn’s contract covers three years of unrestricted free agency eligibility and also includes a full no-trade clause in 2024-25 and a 16-team no-trade clause in 2025-26 and 2026-27.
Nate Thompson retires from NHL after 15 seasons
At 38, veteran forward Nate Thompson has decided to hang up his skates and retire from the NHL.
The forward has played a combined 844 games with nine different NHL teams during his 15-year career. Thompson has played for the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning, and most recently the Philadelphia Flyers where he has scored a total of 65 goals and 164 points.
The Anchorage, Alaska native was the 183rd pick in the sixth round of the 2003 NHL draft by the Boston Bruins, turning an unfavorable pick into a successful run.
Thompson may never have been an offensive weapon. Still, he was well known in and around the NHL market as a locker room boy with a beloved presence and hard-working attributes along with a willingness to lay down his gloves.
“I am beyond grateful and thankful for all the wonderful people I have met and the friendships I have made. All good things must come to an end so thank you to everyone who supported me on this journey,” Thompson said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Thompson was valued as a leader during his career, wearing the alternate captain’s A with Tampa Bay, Montreal and the USA in two world championships. Thompson also spent the 2012-13 lockout with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, returning to play at home for the first time since 2020-21 when he was still in AAA.
In all, Thompson concluded his NHL career with 65 goals and 164 points in 844 NHL games. He also had 87 points in 251 AHL games and 21 points in 24 ECHL contests. One of the highlights of Thompson’s career was winning bronze at the 2013 World Championships with the USA, the only major win of his career.