Wayne Gretzky

Gretzky on his future: “I don’t know what I want to do”


Last week, rumors flew that Wayne Gretzky was in discussions with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment about becoming the new president of the Leafs.

Granted, almost as quickly as the rumors took flight, they were shot down. But the affair demonstrated the buzz the Great One can still create in the hockey world.

Today in Las Vegas, NHL.com’s Dan Rosen went straight to the source and asked Gretzky about his plans for the future.

Short answer: he doesn’t really have any, at least so far as the NHL is concerned.

“I don’t know what I want to do,” Gretzky said. “I don’t really overly think about it. My life is pretty busy right now in the sense that I’m busy but I’m home a lot, which is sort of new.

“When you’re a professional hockey player, a professional athlete, your life is that. To explain that to people, it’s hard, because you almost have to be very selfish to be successful as a professional athlete. But with that selfishness you have to have the right core of people around you, whether it be your wife and kids, or if you’re single, your mom and dad. They have to understand that at that point in time that’s what your concentration is about, the sport itself. Now that I don’t have that, obviously more time is spent just being around my group, my family.”

Obviously, if Gretzky wanted a job in the NHL, he could get one. And while he admits he misses the “peaks and valleys” of pro sports, for now it appears he’s happy to sit on the sidelines and watch.

Gretzky is in Las Vegas to host his 11th annual fantasy camp.

Following is an interview he did with NHL Live in which he addresses the MLSE rumors and talks about enjoying the good life.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.