June 09, 2007

Hockey In California Pre-Dates Wayne Gretzky

Boy oh boy, the highly polished silver of the Stanley Cup sure will look brilliant against the gleaming hot Californian sunshine, won't it?

With the first Cup victory by a California based team comes talk of how far hockey has come in the past 20 years.

Of course it all started in the summer of 1988 when Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Hockey went Hollywood, and became the "chic" show through at least 1993, when Gretzky's Kings came just short of bringing the silverware to Tinseltown.

With the Anaheim Ducks championship comes a whole lot of talk about hockey in California, and a whole lot of credit for the good Gretzky did down there.

And yes, the Gretzky effect should not be understated, but as Terry Frei at ESPN.com points out, SoCal's hockey roots are much deeper than #99 and the Mighty Ducks.

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