Kings Play in San Diego, but Gretzky Might Not See Action

Local hockey fans get their annual look at the National Hockey League tonight and this time there's an extra air of anticipation because of the Los Angeles Kings' recent acquisition of Wayne Gretzky.

Now, if only Gretzky makes an appearance in the 7:30 p.m. exhibition game between the Kings and the Winnipeg Jets in the Sports Arena.

Gretzky, Dave Taylor and Mike Krushelnyski returned from Ontario Monday, where they attended the funeral of teammate Marty McSorley's mother, but it is uncertain whether they will play tonight, according to Kings General Manager Rogie Vachon Vachon.

And that uncertainty may be bad news for Sports Arena General Manager Phil Quinn, who was hoping the attraction of Gretzky would draw more than 11,000 to the game--bettering the turnouts of the 1986 game (11,000-plus for Calgary and St. Louis) and the 1987 game (9,000-plus for the Kings and the U.S. Olympic team).

"The only way right now that San Diego can try to show the NHL it wants a hockey team is by its attendance at this game," Quinn said.

San Diego has made some overtures to the league about starting a new franchise, but little movement has been made in that direction.

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