Wayne Gretzky wants everyone to know he was only in Seattle yesterday to watch the Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers.
What he wasn’t in Seattle to do was help Oilers owner Darryl Katz explore a move to the Pacific Northwest.
“That’s the last time I go to a football game,” Gretzky told FAN 590 radio Tuesday.
The Oilers didn’t deny that Katz and other club execs were in Seattle to gauge a potential Plan B should they fail to reach a deal with the City of Edmonton to build a new downtown arena.
But again, Gretzky isn’t involved in that. Nor is he involved in any other NHL matters.
He did, however, handicap the Oilers’ chances of relocating.
“Probably zero,” he said, suggesting the club and city aren’t really that far apart in their negotiations.
“I just can’t imagine a deal not getting done.”
Gretzky also used Phoenix as an example of the NHL’s commitment to keeping franchises from relocating.
“The National Hockey League does not want franchises to move,” he said. “They want to build those franchises, stabilize those franchises, and keep those fans who have supported those teams comfortable.”
Oh, and he said he left the stadium before the rather controversial final play of the Seahawks-Packers game.
“We tried to beat the traffic,” he joked. “We’re an L.A. crowd.”
(Actually he had to catch a flight home.)