Wayne GretzkyWayne Gretzky had a choice to make about his career 26 years ago, and in the end, his father knew best — which meant going against Mrs. Great One.

Gretzky’s famous 1988 trade from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings marked one of the most important days in NHL history. However, as Gretzky recently pointed out, the transaction was more of a sale than a trade.

“At the end of the day, and this is kind of unique, the Oilers said, ‘What city do you want to go?’ ” Gretzky explained at a leadership forum Tuesday, according to GlobalNews.ca. “I had the choice of New York, Detroit or L.A.

“Everyone thought that my wife (actress Janet Gretzky) had picked L.A., and my wife said, ‘You should play in Detroit.’ It was my dad who called me and said, ‘You should play in L.A.’

“For whatever reason he said, ‘I think you should move to L.A.,’ and I became an L.A. King after that.”

It certainly would have been interesting to see what might have happened had Mrs. Gretzky got her way. However, there’s no denying the importance of Gretzky being in a market like Los Angeles, which helped grow the game in non-traditional hockey markets.

Photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images