Short but Sweet: The Great One in a St. Louis Blues Jersey

It may surprise some hockey fans, but Wayne Gretzky played for the St. Louis Blues at one point. Albeit the time was short, it left a mark on the history of the storied franchise.
St. Louis Blues Vs San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues Vs San Jose Sharks / Rocky W. Widner/GettyImages

Wayne Gretzky succeeded in Edmonton and brought hockey to Los Angeles with the Kings.

In the 1995-96 season, Gretzky was formally traded to the St. Louis Blues.

The trade brought St. Louis fans to life, as the Blues acquired the greatest player in NHL history, adding to their aspirations of winning the Stanley Cup.

The St. Louis Blues had their sight on the championship

While it would have been exciting for any team and fanbase to receive Gretzky, the move was strategic, attempting to position the St. Louis Blues as championship contenders.

During the regular season, Gretzky only suited up for 18 games with St. Louis.

The Great One finished his regular season play with 21 points, scoring 8 goals and providing 13 assists.

In hockey, recording 21 points in 18 games was considered astonishing, but for Gretzky, it was standard.

1995-96 St. Louis Blues Playoff Performance

Gretzky played in 13 playoff games with the St. Louis Blues, recording 2 goals, 14 assists, and 16 total points.

The Blues emerged victorious in their first-round play against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Blues were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in the Conference Semifinals that season.

As soon as the Gretzky experiment started, it quickly came to an end.

With a commanding performance, the Colorado Avalanche swept the Florida Panthers in 4 straight games to claim the Stanley Cup.

It was fun while it lasted

Naturally, Gretzky made his exit during the offseason and went to New York to play for the Rangers.

Fans can only speculate about what could have been.

Speculation ensued, and proved true, that Gretzky desired to stay in St. Louis but didn't mesh well with former head coach Mike Keenan. It would have been better for the franchise to have chosen Gretzky instead of Keenan, but there is no living in the past.

Keenan was fired during the 1996-97 season.

In the end, fans were left with the privilege of housing Gretzky for a short time and longing for "what could have been."

At least St. Louis serves in the history books as a temporary but official home to the Great One.