Just imagine Wayne Gretzky as the president of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
You’ll have to keep on imagining because it’s obviously not the case now, however the two sides did have chat about the possibility of The Great One in that role.
Gretzky confirmed that on Saturday in an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos of Hockey Night in Canada. He also touched on numerous subjects, including when he may be considering a return to the NHL.
“We chatted. I finally can admit we chatted. Just wasn’t the right thing for them and for me,” said Gretzky of his talks with the Leafs’ organization about the president position.
“And listen, I grew up a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan. At one point, I almost signed here in 1996. But, you know, sometimes things just happen for a reason and it just didn’t work out. But Brendan Shanahan is a wonderful man and he’s a good person and I think he’s going to do a wonderful job.”
The Leafs formally announced Shanahan as the new team president in April.
Gretzky, also a former coach the then Phoenix Coyotes, also talked about the prospect of getting back into the game. There were reports earlier this year he had joined of a group interested in bringing the NHL to Seattle, however his agent denied those reports.
“Right now I’m so excited about what I’m doing in my life. I’m going to be a grandfather here in five or six weeks and that’s exciting,” he said. “I have some businesses that I tend to that I’m enjoying.
“So I don’t really actively look to get back into hockey.”