A look back at the Gretzky Trade 25 years later, the Kings re-sign Kyle Clifford, the Blues re-sign Magnus Paajarvi, CBC’s window to lock down its NHL broadcast rights is closing, and another attempt to block the sale of the Coyotes has failed.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek looks back on the trade of Wayne Gretzky from Edmonton to Los Angeles, which took place 25 years ago on August 9, 1988, and its impact upon the player, both teams and the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Gretzky trade is arguably the one event which changed the direction of the NHL, giving us the league we have today.  Without it, league executives wouldn’t have made the aggressive push into the southern United States throughout the previous decade.

CBC.CA: Speaking of Gretzky, the stick with which he scored his 1, 000th lifetime goal (at the age of 13!) fetched over $38,000.00 at a recent auction.

Kings re-sign Kyle Clifford to a two-year deal.

Kings re-sign Kyle Clifford to a two-year deal.

TSN.CA: The Los Angeles Kings have re-signed forward Kyle Clifford to a two-year contract, worth $2.15 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clifford’s contract (worth an average cap hit of $1.075 million per season) pushes the Kings over this season’s $64.3 million cap by roughly $86K. They won’t have to dump much salary to become cap compliant. Indeed, if Willie Mitchell has recovered from his knee injury (which sidelined him throughout last season), they’ll place him on LTIR, which will resolve the cap issue for as long as he remains sidelined.  

They could also demote a lower-salaried player (those earning less than $1 million) to free up cap space. Another option is a trade, but it appears that won’t happen until next month at the earliest, if at all.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues have re-signed winger Magnus Paajarvi to a two-year contract worth $2.4 million, for a cap hit of $1.2 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The signing leaves the Blues with over $7.6 million in cap space, which should be enough to re-sign Alex Pietrangelo and remain under the salary cap, though if he signs for $7 million per season, it won’t leave them much wiggle room.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: CBC has one month to secure the broadcast rights for Hockey Night in Canada for another decade. The current deal expires at the end of 2013-14, and the asking price could be double the $200 million it paid for its current contract with the NHL. “The CBC has exclusive negotiation rights with the NHL through August, but sources at BCE Inc. subsidiary Bell Media Inc. (which owns CTV and TSN) say the broadcast giant is anxious to step in if a deal with the CBC can’t be reached quickly.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the column notes, there’s other variables involved here, including the league’s interest in creating an exclusive Canadian broadcast on Sunday nights.  The league has been very mindful of HNiC’s long history and its cultural value to Canadians, so it won’t just be about money here. Still, BCE Inc made a heavy bid the last time and they have the dollars and the willingness to snag those broadcast rights.  It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: A third attempt to block the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes has failed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oh, just get the sale over and done so we don’t have to hear about this again for at least another five years!