Wayne Gretzky needs to come back to the NHL

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky smiles during his induction ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday Nov. 22, 1999.(CP PHOTO/Frank Gunn)

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky smiles during his induction ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday Nov. 22, 1999.(CP PHOTO/Frank Gunn)

Gretzky is without a doubt the global ambassador for hockey. He holds many accolades and is respected by many people within the hockey universe. With the experience he holds both on and off the ice, is it time that he comes back to hockey once again?

What has he done before?

Even after retirement, Gretzky was still involved in hockey and has had success in hockey operations. His first major role was with Team Canada as the Executive Director of the 2002 Olympic Team, where Canada captured its first gold medal since 1952. In 2004, he once again led Team Canada to a World Cup title in the same role.

Gretzky purchased a small stake in the Phoenix (Arizona) Coyotes in 2000. In 2005, he became head coach of the team; however, the Coyotes never made the playoffs during his tenure. In the midst of the 2009 Coyotes ownership crisis, Gretzky stepped down from his role as head coach and sold his stake in the team. His final coaching record was 143-161-24.

Will The Great One return?

Gretzky has been spending his time on activities outside of hockey. He has stated in many interviews that he is happy just being a fan of the game. Gretzky was a torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He also served as a Special Advisor for the Team Canada hockey team during the 2010 games.

Most recently, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals have courted The Great One for an upper management role, but Gretzky politely declined both offers.

Should Gretzky come back into hockey, the best role for him would be a managerial or advisory role with an NHL club. He has a lot of experience in the front office and has promoted the game passionately. Since Gretzky started playing for the Los Angeles Kings, the NHL and the game of hockey has grown substantially.

With the never-ending rumors of the NHL going into Las Vegas and Seattle, perhaps it is the perfect time for Gretzky to step in to promote the game in those markets. Gretzky can possibly serve as an advisor, general manager or a president for the potential new hockey clubs.

With Wayne’s help, those markets will be more likely to succeed.

 

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