The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, is back working for the Edmonton Oilers. 28 years after they traded him to Los Angeles, and seven years after he last worked in the NHL, as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes; Gretzky has been named partner and vice chairman on Wednesday. The announcement came just hours before the Oilers opened the brand new Rogers Arena, with a pre-game ceremony featuring Gretzky and Mark Messier.
Wayne Gretzky Hired to Front Office Role With the Edmonton Oilers
Gretzky will be involved in hockey related discussions, though the final decision making power rests with vice-president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli. Gretzky will act as an advisor for the team. His brother Keith Gretzky is the Oilers assistant general manager.
“I’ve had opportunities over the last three, four or five years to be involved in the NHL,” Gretzky said to TSN. “I chose to step back and take my time. We felt like this was a really great opportunity for me to get back in the game and do what we all want to do: win a Stanley Cup. I’m privileged and proud to be back as an Oiler.”
“This is Peter’s team,” Gretzky reiterated. “Whatever Peter wants, I’ll be available for him. He’s a tremendous general manager, he’s got a great track record. He’s done a tremendous job with the Oilers. That’s not for me to interfere with. You’re not going to see me calling teams (for trades). That’s for Peter to do.”
Gretzky will report to Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson and owner Darryl Katz.
Main Photo: TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 27: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and hockey icon Wayne Gretzky unveil the League’s Centennial celebration plans for 2017 during a press conference at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Air Canada Centre on September 27, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)