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Gretzky Gives Aging Blues Instant Shot in Arm

February 28, 1996

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Wayne Gretzky and the St. Louis Blues may be a perfect fit.

A veteran team running out of time for a run at the Stanley Cup is getting an aging superstar anxious for another chance at glory.

The Blues eagerly mortgaged their future Tuesday night when they traded three prospects and two draft picks for the man who holds 61 National Hockey League records, and at 35, isn’t done yet.

The hockey great who won four Stanley Cups for Edmonton but failed to carry the Los Angeles Kings to an NHL title, was traded to St. Louis after weeks of speculation about his future.

``I’m emotionally drained,″ Gretzky said. ``I’m disappointed to be leaving Los Angeles but I’m excited to play in St. Louis.″

The Great One is thought to be seeking a three-year deal worth $21 million. Both sides expect no problems reaching a deal quickly.

Gretzky, who’s making $6.5 million this season, has been the league’s Most Valuable Player nine times. He sparked hockey interest in Southern California but only managed to lead the Kings to the finals once, in 1993.

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