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The stick that Wayne Gretzky carried for the Edmonton Oilers in the decisive 1988 Stanley Cup Final was bought for $336,000, an all-time record for a hockey stick used in the NHL, Sotheby's announced Friday.

The stick was photo matched by MeiGray and James Spence Authentication authenticated the signature, which reads: “For Rick, best wishes, Wayne Gretzky, May 26, 1988.”

Sotheby's confirmed to ESPN that the stick was originally in the private collection of Edmonton resident Rick “The Stick” Elaschuk. Elaschuk was a longtime employee of the Oilers and the visiting team's stickman since their inception as a World Hockey Association franchise.

Sotheby's noted that 22 bidders placed 79 bids on Gretzky's final stick in Edmonton. The sale was announced just hours before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals Friday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton between the Oilers and Florida Panthers.

The previous record for a stick worn in the NHL also belonged to Gretzky: One from his final career game sold for $138,600 at Sotheby's in 2022. In recent years, more Gretzky items from the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals have surfaced: In June 2022, Gretzky's final Oilers jersey sold for $1.452 million, the highest price ever paid for a hockey jersey, and his gloves from that final game sold for $204,162.

The Oilers defeated the Boston Bruins in the 1988 finals. Notably, Game 4 was suspended due to a power outage on May 24, 1988 at the Boston Garden. The game was never completed, the series went back to Edmonton, and the Oilers took the win two days later. It was the Oilers' fourth title in five seasons and Gretzky's last. Less than three months later, Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in arguably the most significant trade in NHL history.

Gretzky scored 13 points in the 1988 Finals – three goals and 10 assists – a series record that still stands today. (Gretzky's 10 assists in the Stanley Cup Finals also remain a series record.) Gretzky, who has been named the league's Most Valuable Player nine times, remains the only NHL player whose number has been retired leaguewide.

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