Wayne Gretzky’s Game-Used Hockey Stick From Last Stanley Cup Championship Nets Record $336,000

“The Great One” continues to set records years after retiring. The hockey stick Wayne Gretzky used in the series-clinching 1988 Stanley Cup Finals game against the Boston Bruins is now the highest-selling NHL stick ever sold. The stick netted $336,000 at Sotheby’s on Friday.

It would end up being the last Stanley Cup championship of Gretzky’s storied career.

Game-used Wayne Gretzky hockey stick from 1988 Stanley Cup Finals
Game-used Wayne Gretzky hockey stick from 1988 Stanley Cup Finals. (credit: Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s tells HobbyListings there was a total of 79 bids from 22 bidders.

Gretzky, who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for his play in the ’88 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tallied 43 points in only 19 games, which is third all-time for most points in a single postseason. He also is first on that list with 47 points in the 1985 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Gretzky used the stick in Game 5 on May 26, 1988, when the Oilers swept the Bruins in Edmonton. Why did it take five games for a sweep? In Game 4 at the Boston Garden, there was a power failure which caused the game to be suspended in the second period at 3-3.

The Oilers’ 1988 Stanley Cup victory was the franchise’s fourth in five seasons, cementing their dynasty. It was also Gretzky’s last Stanley Cup championship with the Oilers and his career.

“Exhibiting signs of extensive use, this exceptional artifact showcases the unmistakable marks of intense battles fought on the ice. The shaft bears a time-worn tape job, and markings throughout. The blade exhibits telltale scuffs, puck marks and tears in the tape,” Sotheby’s writes in the description lot. “Accompanied by a letter from The MeiGray Group, photomatching the stick to the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals, this artifact transports us back to a defining moment in sports history. With each passing year, the significance and scarcity of such items grow, making this an extraordinary opportunity for collectors, hockey enthusiasts, and connoisseurs of excellence. The stick is additionally accompanied by a letter from James Spence Authentication in regards to the signature.”

The same stick sold last year in a Sotheby’s Sealed auction, with an estimated value at the time of between $300,000-$500,000. It’s not known how much it actually sold for.

In 2022, Sotheby’s sold Gretzky’s stick from his final NHL game for $138,600.

Despite the high price for Gretzky’s game-used Stanley Cup stick, it doesn’t come close to the most expensive hockey stick of all-time. A hockey stick carved in the 1850s and believed to be the oldest one ever sold at auction in 2006 for $2.2 million.

Gretzky also holds the record for most expensive hockey card ever when his 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee rookie, graded PSA 10, scored $3.75 million.

On top of being a four-time Stanley Cup champion, Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player and holds 61 individual records.

Leave a Reply