30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 1

Kings Ransom (6 Oct. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Sport
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 483 users  
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Peter Berg's documentary on Wayne Gretzky, his decision to leave Edmonton for Los Angeles, and that decision's effects on hockey and its fans.

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Episode credited cast:
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Walter Gretzky ...
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Jim Hill ...
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Jim Matheson ...
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Bruce McNall ...
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Marty McSorley ...
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Bob Miller ...
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Gord Miller ...
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Rod Phillips ...
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Peter Pocklington ...
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Glen Sather ...
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Storyline

On August 9, 1988, the NHL was forever changed with the single stroke of a pen. The Edmonton Oilers, fresh off their fourth Stanley Cup victory in five years, signed a deal that sent Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian national treasure and the greatest hockey player ever to play the game, to the Los Angeles Kings in a multi-player, multi-million dollar deal. As bewildered Oiler fans struggled to make sense of the unthinkable, fans in Los Angeles were rushing to purchase season tickets at a rate so fast it overwhelmed the Kings box office. Overnight, a franchise largely overlooked in its 21-year existence was suddenly playing to sellout crowds and standing ovations, and a league often relegated to "little brother" status exploded from 21 teams to 30 in less than a decade. Acclaimed director Peter Berg presents the captivating story of the trade that knocked the wind out of an entire country, and placed a star-studded city right at the humble feet of a 27-year-old kid, known simply as "The Great... Written by Anonymous

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6 October 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Nice Start to the Series
4 November 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

30 at 30: King's Ransom (2009)

*** (out of 4)

The first film in ESPN's series has director Peter Berg taking a look at the 1988 trade that sent Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. This trade is considered to be the biggest in sports history as the Edmonton owner got around $15 million in cash and sent the entire face of hockey packing bags, which causes him countless death threats from the people in Edmonton. The documentary takes a look at both sides of the trade and shows what impact it had on the cities moving forward. Gretzky is in the film and gives his thoughts and feelings on the trade years after it all went down and it's interesting to hear him say he wouldn't change a thing considering he wouldn't win another Stanley Cut but the team he left would win another two years after the trade. No one will ever question the greatness of Gretzky but I do wonder if he's telling the truth here when he said he wouldn't do anything over. The two owners are also interviewed and you can't help but understand why the trade was done even though fans are still going to cry foul. Berg does a very nice job at getting all the details out there and this includes new interviews as well as the original news conference as well as other footage from various stations covering the event.


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