Kings in History: October 6, 1988
After acquiring Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers just two months earlier, the Los Angeles Kings were anxiously awaiting to embark on a new era.
In their season opener against the Detroit Red Wings on October 6, 1988, the newest King was making his debut in the silver-and-black in front of a sold out crowd at the Great Western Forum.
Whoever wondered how Gretzky would fare in his new digs did not have to wait long as on his first shift on his first shot, a surging Wayne Gretzky took the cross-ice feed from then-captain Dave Taylor and banked it past a sprawling Greg Stefan to tie the game 1-1 for his first and the Kings' first goal of the season.
It was a successful debut all-around as the Kings went on to trounce the Red Wings by an 8-2 score. The Kings would win their next three games before losing their first of the season.
The Los Angeles Kings finished the 1988-89 season with a 42-31-7 record (good enough for second in the Smythe Division) and an opening-round playoff upset of the defending champions, and Gretzky's ex-team, the Edmonton Oilers.
As successful as 1988-89 was for Gretzky, it was just as successful for the Kings organization who became the first team in Los Angeles sports history to sell out every one of their home games. Not the Dodgers, not the Raiders, not even the Lakers could accomplish this feat.
October 6, 1988: a day that will live in the hearts of Los Angeles Kings fans everywhere.