Wayne Gretzky & Nelson Skalbania share a laugh over breakfast at the Indianapolis Athletic Club, June 12, 1978.
Wayne Gretzky had signed a personal services contract ($1.75 million) with Nelson Skalbania on a private plane between Vancouver, B.C. and Edmonton, Alberta on June 10, 1978. Gretzky's agent Gus Badali and Walter & Phyllis Gretzky were present when Wayne wrote his contract out on a sheet of paper and signed it. There were no lawyers, no big formal documents. Skalbania gave him a deposit of $50,000.
Skalbania owned the WHA Indianapolis Racers. Gretzky played just 5 games in Indianapolis, before Skalbania sold him ($850,000) to Peter Pocklington / Edmonton Oilers on November 2, 1978.