Today in Hockey History: Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky Gets Married

Wayne Gretzky
EDMONTON, AB - MAY 26: Wayne Gretzky #99 of the Edmonton Oilers and wife Janet Jones celebrate after the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals on May 26, 1988 at the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

During the NHL’s hiatus, we at Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for July 15th, featuring Wayne Gretzky.

Today in Hockey History

Wayne Gretzky Says “I Do”

1988: The Edmonton Oilers centre marries actress Janet Jones in a large ceremony in Edmonton. Some media outlets compare the ceremony to a royal wedding. The couple met when Gretzky was a celebrity judge on the show “Dance Fever” earlier in the decade.

However, they don’t become a couple until they meet again at a basketball game. Thousands of well-wishers line the route from the church to the reception. The newlyweds don’t stay in Alberta long as Gretzky is dealt to the Los Angeles Kings less than a month later.

Other Notable Events

1933: Former NHL goalie Julian Klymkiw was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He only makes one appearance in the league. Klymkiw is the Detroit Red Wings trainer and is pressed into duty for the New York Rangers on Oct. 12, 1958. Regular goalie Gump Worsley is injured and Klymkiw allows two goals on 19 shots as an emergency goalie.

1990: Free agent defenceman Scott Stevens signs with the St. Louis Blues. His time in the city isn’t long as he heads to the New Jersey Devils next season and cements his Hall of Famer career. Stevens wins three Stanley Cups and is a 10-time All-Star for New Jersey.

1997: The Tampa Bay Lightning sign free agent defenceman Yves Racine. He previously played with the Calgary Flames before playing seven season in Finland and Germany.

1998: Tampa Bay signs free agent forward Wendel Clark after a second stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Detroit gets him at the trade deadline and retires after the 1999-2000 season.

St. Louis signs free agent forward Scott Young to a deal. He gets 40 goals in the 2000-01 season and gets a spot on the 2002 U.S. Olympic team. The Americans win the silver medal after losing to Team Canada in the gold-medal game at Salt Lake City.

1999: The Colorado Avalanche send backup goalie Craig Billington to the Washington Capitals for future considerations. Billington stays with the Caps until retires at the end of the 2002-03 season.

2001: The expansion Atlanta Thrashers sign free agents Tony Hrkac, Bob Corkum and Todd Reirden.

Happy Birthday to You

1965: Claude Lemieux

1966: Jyrki Lumme

1983: Duncan Keith

1986: Dustin Boyd

1991: Nate Schmidt

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