Gretzky Steps Down From Oilers

Photo credit THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Not only did the Oilers lose the  series against the Jets in four straight games in the first round, we are hearing that Wayne Gretzky “The Great One” has resigned or left his position with the Oilers as the team’s Vice Chairman.

It’s been reported for a while changes were in the making given the broadcast rights for the NHL as they look at moving forward for the upcoming season.

In a statement that was posted to social media, Gretzky cited an inability to give the role the attention it requires, which by all intent and purposes makes sense to those in the hockey circles. 

Gretzky (60) wrote “The Oilers, their fans, and the city of Edmonton have meant the world to me and my family for over four decades — and that will never end.” 

He continued “Given the pandemic and other life changes, I realize I will not be able to dedicate the time nor effort needed to support this world-class organization.”

The NHL and Turner Sports on Tuesday formally announced a seven-year agreement that begins next season and will put three Stanley Cup finals on the TNT cable network.

Gretzky has signed a multi-year contract to provide studio analysis during the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs and will be working with legendary broadcaster Kenny Albert and retired NHLer Eddie Olczyk who has played NHL 1031 scoring 324 goals along with 452 assists will call the games on TNT and TBS.  

Olczyk played for 16 seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers and was also the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2003 to 2005.

Gretzky spent 21 seasons in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers from 1979 to 1999.

In addition, Gretzky is a 15-time All-Star, four-time Stanley Cup winner, 10-time Art Ross Trophy winner nine times as the NHL’s leading scorer (first awarded in 1947-48 to Elmer Lach) as well as Gretzky winning the Hart Trophy winner eight times as league MVP and two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame told the media “From our standpoint, we looked at the strength of the Turner Sports portfolio, which is outstanding and they put a fun and innovative factor into all of what they do, and we’re excited to have that same treatment for our sports, and for our fans.”

The news comes as Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Gretzky would join TNT as a lead analyst on the network’s studio show after agreeing to a deal that will pay him around $3 million per season. 

This will be Gretzky’s first move into the TV analyst world and no doubt he will offer new insight into the game where others have failed miserably at doing.

In the past he has appeared on several television shows, which included The Young and the Restless, Saturday Night Live and the Simpsons.

Gretzky rejoined the Oilers in 2016 after previously spending 10 seasons with the team from 1978-1988.

We wish him all the best moving forward and welcome his insight which can possibly make some other broadcasters better, which is drastically needed in the world of broadcasting.