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03-06-2013, 10:30 PM
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Would this count as line for line? It never officially happened, but it was supposedly agreed upon.

Peter Pocklington says Harold Ballard came calling in the early 1980s with an unprecedented offer that would have bailed the former Toronto Maple Leafs owner out of financial trouble, and might have had Wayne Gretzky parading the Stanley Cup down Carlton Street .

In a new biography about the one-time Edmonton Oilers owner, "I'd Trade Him Again," Pocklington recalls a deal he almost made where the Leafs and Oilers would have swapped cities.

"Harold phoned me and said, 'Would you consider moving to Toronto with your team and I'll move to Edmonton with mine, and I'll need $50 million," Pocklington told The Canadian Press when reached Sunday at his Palm Desert, Calif., home.

"So I thought about it and said, 'Yes Harold, I'll go for that."'

The scheme called for the entire team to move to Toronto to play in Maple Leaf Gardens while the Leafs, in turn, would have found a home in Edmonton's new arena, which at that time was called the Coliseum.

According to Pocklington, Ballard was in financial straights when he made the proposal in 1981. However, a short time later Ballard backed out of the deal.

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