Shooting His Shot
The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, joins the media in an effort to bolster American hockey coverage and grow the game
The Great One Returns to the Hockey Spotlight by Joining the Media
What’s Happening: It was an eventful day for Wayne Gretzky on Tuesday as he suddenly quit his post as Vice Chairman of the Edmonton Oilers, one day after the team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. In a statement on Twitter, Gretzky said he “would not be able to dedicate the time nor the effort needed to support this world-class organization.” A few hours after this statement was released, it was reported that Gretzky had signed a 3-year contract with TNT Sports to become a hockey studio analyst starting next season. The rumor was confirmed by Gretzky in a tweet on Wednesday morning accompanied by his most famous quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Why did Gretzky make this move? By and large, Gretzky has become an almost invisible figure in hockey since he last coached the then Phoenix Coyotes back in 2009. Since then, he’s mostly laid low from the hockey limelight but that will all change beginning next year when he joins TNT Sports in their hockey coverage. TNT Sports is known for their basketball coverage and their in-studio personnel currently includes Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley. It’s reported that Gretzky decided to take up this position because of its proximity. He recently moved with his wife to Missouri to watch over his mother in law as she turns 100 and to also be closer to his kids and grandkids who are located in Florida and Georgia. Missouri is in the same area and for Gretzky, taking this position in Georgia was a no-brainer.
Why It Matters: Hockey has often struggled to grow a wider audience especially within America and that could be because of a lack of influential voices within the game to help grow and promote it. That probably will all change next year when the definitive greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, will offer his opinions and takes on TNT Sports. This is a big deal and one that many people should care about because he is the absolute best player to play the game of hockey and if there is a hockey opinion any hockey fan should listen to, it is Gretzky’s. Gretzky’s addition to the roster of analysts on TNT Sports adds credibility to the program, station, and helps to grow the game of hockey where his insights will be seen by millions of people. This is nothing but a huge win for TNT Sports and the hockey fans as they will directly hear from the Great One himself for the next few years.
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A Question for the Peanut Gallery
What are your thoughts on Wayne Gretzky becoming a TV analyst and would you want to see him do more and perhaps step into a color commentator type of role?