Gretzky will reportedly take on role with Oilers


With the Edmonton Oilers set to make a “major announcement,” TSN’s Ryan Rishaugh has confirmed the speculation that Wayne Gretzky will be returning to his old club in some capacity.

This afternoon, the Oilers are unveiling the new home of the refurbished Gretzky statue outside Rogers Place. Tonight, they’ll play their first ever regular-season game in the new arena.

It will be interesting to see what job Gretzky takes on. In an interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge that aired Tuesday, the Great One did not sound like a man who was ready to accept a significant role in an NHL front office.

“I don’t know, never’s a long time,” Gretzky said when asked if he saw himself getting back into the game, perhaps in management for the Oilers.

“Listen, I tell people all time, everything I have in my life is (because of) the National Hockey League and the game of hockey. The money I got to make, the people I got to meet, the stories and memories I have. … But right now, I have a 13-year-old in grade school and I have a 16-year-old in high school. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for us to move in this point of time in our lives. Edmonton’s always been good to me, (owner) Daryl Katz and (CEO) Bob Nicholson. They’ve always reached out and had an open hand to come around and be around and be involved.

“But at this point in time, no, it’s not part of my makeup, and it’s not what I see happening. But is it going to happen one day? Maybe.”

Update from Sportsnet’s John Shannon:

Another update from TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

Related: Gretzky returns to NHL fold as official ambassador of centennial celebration