The last jersey Wayne Gretzky wore when he won his final Stanley Cup for the Edmonton Oilers sold for a record $1.45 million in Grey Flannel’s summer auction.
The champagne-stained jersey, which also features puck and stick marks, is the most expensive piece of NHL memorabilia ever sold.
The Oilers jersey from the “Great One” had an opening bid of $250,000 and attracted 12 bids before going to the unnamed buyer.
"Wayne Gretzky's final Edmonton Oilers jersey is the most iconic hockey jersey of all-time," Grey Flannel Auctions President Michael Russek said. "Collectors relished a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own Gretzky's final Oilers game-worn jersey, which marked the peak of his career as he captured his fourth and final Stanley Cup. It was an honor to auction off this holy grail, which is now the most valuable hockey jersey of all-time."
Gretzky wore the jersey when hoisting the 1988 Stanley Cup after sweeping the Boston Bruins in four games in what would ultimately be his final game with Edmonton. The Oilers defeated the Bruins 6-3 to complete the sweep and win their fourth Stanley Cup in five seasons. Gretzky won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points. Just 12 weeks later, the Oilers traded him to the Los Angeles Kings.
Gretzky's gloves from the same Stanley Cup-clinching game also sold for $204,162.
Another historic piece of game-worn memorabilia also attracted a big price as the warmup jacket Willis Reed wore during Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals sold for $371,005.
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The Knicks were expected to be without their star center in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Reed had torn a muscle in his right thigh in Game 5 and missed Game 6. But he hobbled onto the court for Game 7, hit two early jumpers and gave his team the lift it needed to win its first NBA championship in what became known as the “Willis Reed Game.”
Reed wore the warmup jacket prior to the game and on the bench. It is photo-matched to his post-game interview with ABC’s Howard Cosell.
Three other game-worn NHL jerseys also attracted impressive sales as 1974-75 Bobby Orr jersey sold for $173082, while a signed 1960s Gordie Howe jersey fetched $143,059. An autographed jersey Gretzy wore in the 1992 NHL All-Star game, which bears a “first period goal” inscription, sold for $71,554.