How’s this fun story for your daily dose of “It’s a small world north of the border?” Wayne Gretzky, the Great One, was traded from Edmonton, where he was beloved as a home-country hero, to the Los Angeles Kings (where it’s way too hot for hockey, honestly) on Aug. 9, 1988.
Where was he that very offseason day?
At the home of Growing Pains star and fellow Canadian icon Alan Thicke.
What was he doing there?
Babysitting Thicke’s now super-famous pop music son, Robin. Were you expecting anything less?
Thicke enlightened Luke Fox of Sportsnet with this whacky information last summer:
I was reminded of it a few days ago on the occasion of the anniversary of his trade from Edmonton to Los Angeles (on Aug. 9, 1988). He was house-sitting at my house in L.A. the night he got traded. I was in Norway with my other son (Brennan), and Wayne and Janet were house-sitting for my son Robin (11 years old at the time). I called from Norway because I picked up the Oslo morning paper and saw pictures of Gretzky — but I couldn’t understand the text, of course. And I thought maybe there had been a fire, a mudslide, a drive-by shooting, who knows? So I called home, and I learned Wayne left early in the morning; he got traded last night. He got the call at about 9 p.m., and he was gone by 6 the next morning. So we had to find a substitute nanny instantly, which is not as bad as what Edmonton had to find to replace him.
It’s a great story, but it does bring up one (well, two) glaring question(s): Did Gretzky just peace out on a young Robin? There were no cell phones back then, it’s not as if he could Skype Thicke over in Norway and let him know.
Finally, was Alan Thicke ever really famous enough to have Wayne Gretzky over as a babysitter? It’s not exactly bringing in some high schooler.
Good thing Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, wasn’t doing what she’s doing these days (bikinis and monkeys, anyone?). Talk about blurred lines.
[H/T: Puck Daddy]