One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Detroit could have had Gretzky

Who knew?

Detroit is a sports town. And hockey is the sport de jour (please, don't ask us about the Lions or the Tigers right now. Wounds are too fresh.)

I recently ran across this story about how The Great One could have been a Red Wing. Ah, the sweet misery.

According to the article..."Gretzky knew he was shipping out of Edmonton well before the trade, which he helped orchestrate after he realized that a new real estate agent was unavoidable. "I only want to go to two places," he told Pocklington. "LA or Detroit," the latter being just a three-hour drive from his hometown of Brantford, Ontario.

His dad pushed for Detroit. Surprisingly, so did his wife. "It's a hockey city," she reminded her husband. It's technically called Hockeytown, but they'll probably forgive her considering she tried to give the city its biggest bailout this side of Washington D.C."

Read the whole thing here.

  • Print
  • Comment
Comments (14)
Post a Comment »
  • 1

    No disrespect to Gretzky, but we have Yzerman. So, no misery.....quite the opposite......we thank the hockey gods for #19.

  • 2

    Detroit belongs to Yzerman. Period. I cannot imagine the Wings without him. No way could Gretzky be here. Great guy, but he's not Stevie Y.

  • 3

    hind sight being 20-20 - I still would have wanted #19! We couldn't have asked for a better Captain!

    Leave well enough alone!

  • 4

    I totally agree with the 3 comments so far. Yzerman was, and IS, a god in Hockeytown.

    Sports is a major event, for some a lifestyle, in the metro Detroit area. If TIME wants to know how the people and the teams interact, talk to Stevie Y, or Joe Dumars (even if the Pistons are in the suburbs), Al Kaline and Willie Horton. I suppose you could try to talk to Barry Sanders, but his feelings about the team may color his feelings about the city.

  • 5

    No offense to this writer (Disdain is instead heaped upon the editor who should have picked someone who knew something about hockey and not just eye catching headings.) But anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that Wayne Gretzky would not have fared well in Detroit and that the Detroit Red Wings did not need Wayne Gretzky.

    The Detroit Red Wings hold the record in ALL of the professional sports legues for the longest streak of continual playoff appearances at 18 years straight- with no sign of falter coming anytime soon. And all with out the Great One...4 of those years brought a Stanley Cup to the City- more than any other NHL franchise since the 1980's.

    Detroit hockey has been -during these last 20+ years of success- an evenly balanced team focusing either on smothering left wing lock defenses and/or gorgeous puck possession play, and Detroit requires its forwards and defensemen to do double duty at the blueline and on the puck- Something Gretz would not have been used to in his prime.

    Further, the Red Wing Organization is the Platinum standard in all of professional sports for growing unknown but talented players into Repeat Stanley Cup Champs and some of the best players the game has ever seen.

    Additionally, there is reason to speculate that Wayne would not have seen the success he enjoyed in with Mr. McSorley at his side in Detroit (No offense to either Gretz or McSorley- I have the utmost respect).

    And finally- perhaps most importantly- the Wings did not need the Great One, Detroit had its own Great One in an amazing talent named Steve Yzerman who along with Igor Larionov (nicknamed "The Russian Gretzky") ,and an incredible line up of some of the greatest team leaders in the history of the game gave the City of Detroit and her suburbs so much to be thankful for and proud of.

    If it were 1982 and we had it to do all over again, NO QUESTION I'd take Steve Yzerman's heart, talent, class, dignity, spirit and grace over the Great One. On that note- Thanks Stevie Y, Mr. Iilitch and the Detroit Red Wings.

    • 5.1

      Good thing this article appeared, or we would never have seen the above comment. Kudos to juiceinla.....loved that you mentioned Larionov. I miss the Russian Five..... glad we now have the super Swedes.
      (I've got the game on and Lidstrom just got his 1000th point.........assisted on Z's goal. Awesome.)

      We are blessed here in Detroit. We have so many hidden gems, and the WIngs are like the Hope Diamond, but worth much more.

  • 7

    Thank God we never had to deal with Gretzky. Aside from him being the "Great Cherry Picker" his wife would not have been happy in Detroit. We are not glamorous like L.A.
    Stevie will always be the Great One.

  • 8

    Thanks so much for the kind words, ZforCaptain- sincerely! I was worried that I hadn't stopped to breathe there perched on my soapbox, plus I get a bit defensive about the D, her teams and her people. And I love my (our) Wings.

    I agree 100% with your feelings on the matter. Loved watching Nico get his 1,00th point, can't wait until he catches Larry Murphy (1200+). The Professor, Fetisov, Sergei, Shanny, Draper, Ozzie, Murphy, (even Hull and Robitaille) and of course Nico- for 20 years the Wings and their fans have been completely blessed with some of the premier talent, class and heat in all of the NHL. The list just goes on and on.

    But Ms Dybis!!! very very classy response, and I love authors who engage their readers, so thank you. I am so glad I didn't give you too much grief. I know part of the reason for the story was that it is an eyecatching headline- and obviously it worked.

    As for hormones and Steve Yzerman? I was a "Pre-tween" (no typo) in 1983 when he was drafted, and I traded my Ponyboy Curtis poster for a small newspaper picture of Stevie Y at the draft..I get it. I totally get it.

    • 8.1

      juiceinla I think you echo what we all feel......the Wings are much more than a hockey team, they are our life line......can't imagine where we'd be without them.
      I often think of the players who were here in the bad times, like Gallant, Snepsts, and Steve Chiasson, who all contributed in some way to the team we have today.

      Yzerman will of course deny it, but he is the reason we've won four Cups in recent years. He could have easily given up and left for a seemingly brighter future, but he chose to stay here and keep fighting. That alone would have been enough for us, but to see him hoist the Cup for the first time was over the top, and something I will never ever forget.

      I marvel at the players the Wings have found to keep the engine running. I worried who would succeed Lidstrom as Captain, and rumors are it will be Zetterberg, who is a perfect did they find him?

      One more thought I'd like to put in writing is that if Mr. Ilitch decides to build a new arena, I'd love it if it were patterned after the magnificent Olympia Arena instead of some new modern state-of-the-art building. There was no better place to watch a hockey game.

      Not sure if we're allowed to post links here, but below is one of Yzerman during an interview about the Canadian Olympic team. I do believe it's the only time I've seen #19 at a loss for words......enjoy :)

  • 9

    Agreed, no misery here. Sure Gretzky has the numbers, but Yzerman has more; leadership, toughness, fearlessness, and loyalty. I couldn't imagine the Wings and Hockeytown without him. Some say great athletes bleed the color of their team, but Yzerman takes it to a whole other level;

  • 10

    [...] since we all love the Detroit Red Wings, I want all my fellow Detroit Lions football fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

  • 11

    Adderall Addiction Help

    Detroit could have had Gretzky - The Detroit Blog -

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

More News from Our Partners

Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.