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Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky has reportedly joined a group of investors who are hoping to bring an NHL team to Seattle. (NY Post)

Gretzky and his group are one of three that have interest in bringing a team to Seattle but it isn't known if they are thinking of an expansion team or trying to relocate a current team. (NY Post)

Gary Bettman says that the league is not ready to expand beyond 30 teams. (NY Post)

Tags: Wayne Gretzky, Adam Rotter
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Wayne Gretzky joined Rangers Insider on MSG and spoke with Bill Pidto, Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti and Mike Keenan.

  • Being a former King and Ranger what is the series like for you, "From my point of view, Mike can understand this, when you are not in the group or mix you don't have that same anxiety and worry and pressure and excitement that you have when you are affiliated. I am just watching the games and watching the games for eight weeks and the hockey has been phenomenal and a lot of people thought that LA/Chicago was a remarkable series but I felt that the Rangers/Habs series was just as good an exciting and it's a positive for the sport of hockey. We didn't know what to anticipate heading into the season and we have two teams that deserve to be in the Stanley Cup Final."
  • On the level you need to be at in the Finals to win, "as you know Mike, it's completely different. For people it's hard to comprehend because the guys play hard every night and that isn't the case. The intensity in the preseason, then the regular season, then the first three rounds of the playoffs but when you hit game one of the Stanley Cup Final you need to push yourself to another level and you have to understand that the atmosphere and enthusiasm and excitement around you is greater and the competition is better, it's two elite teams, the two teams who are the best in the East and the West and you need to not only pick up the pace of your game but the urgency of how you prepare each and every night. I loved playing in the Stanley Cup Final because it made me feel like this was what hockey was all about. Now we are playing for keeps and it's what I love about the Stanley Cup Final."
  • How would you prepare being down 0-3, "I saw an interview today where a guy said that he was at Rangers practice today and the guys were down but that is normal. They lost three hard games in a row. I thought they game they were the better team in the first half of the game and could have snuck out a win, didn't and in game two they had the better opportunities late in the third and OT and could have come out of LA 1-1 but didn't and again I thought they played pretty solid but lose 3-0, Jonathon Quick has gone to that level that you need to have. So they find themselves down 3-0 and it's only natural as a pro that you will feel a little down the next morning after three tough losses. From the Rangers point of view, once you get out there and start talking about being ready for game four, that you will come out of that funk from having to deal with the losses. Pre game meal and meetings and just be positive. It's an old cliche and sounds silly but it's been proven time and again in these playoffs, you win one game and you can turn the whole series around real quickly and put the pressure on the other team and get them on their heels a bit. Tomorrow is a start and they need a good start and they need the fans behind them early and it's one game at a time and this team is god enough to win four games but they can't look at it that way, it needs to be one at a time."
  • On turning around hockey in California in 1988 and how much he meant to the league, "that is nice to say and I appreciate it but lots of things had to happen to fall into place. I was with the right people in Kelly Hrudey and Luc Robitaille. Michael Eisner decided that he wanted to own a hockey team and he loved the Kings games and NHL and the Ducks came along and that jump started the game on the West Coast. Timing is everything and when I got to LA, Mario was Mario in Pittsburgh. Stevie Y was in Detroit, Mess went to NY and what Brett Hull did in St. Louis, I was lucky. A lot of other guys in key US cities were guys that people wanted to watch and we rallied around each other and made ourselves better and it all fell into place and now we have an LA team that is defying everything I know about hockey. When I was in Edmonton we were the best front runners you ever saw, we would get up 2-0, play game three and hopefully polish a team off in seven. I have never seen a team come back like that against San Jose, down 3-2 to the Ducks and squandered a game six against Chicago but won game seven in OT. I have never seem a team that doesn't care about what the score is. Darryl Sutter coaches different then a lot of other coaches coach. Everyone is strong defensively and has great goaltending and he coaches a lot like how Mike coached his teams and then there is always two guys on the puck in every zone, they always try to out man everyone and they are always pressuring the puck and whether they are up or down the system doesn't change."
Tags: Wayne Gretzky, Adam Rotter
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In The Hockey News Adam Proteau wonders if Wayne Gretzky could end up replacing Glen Sather as Rangers GM.

Proteau says that the Rangers seem to be a better fit for Gretzky than just about any other NHL destination.

He says that while Gretzky has never been an NHL GM, he was the director for Team Canada in 2002 and won Gold.

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On Edmonton radio, Bob Stouffer chatter with Glen Sather about the 25th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade.

  • On 25 years, "It's hard to believe it's been 25 years but it's the kind of situation that doesn't really leave no matter how many years go by. I've had the same feelings since the day it did happen, I don't think I will ever change my feelings about it."
  • On looking back, "It wasn't a trade. It was a sale. I've said that since the day it happened. People call it a trade but it was a sale and there were some pieces that came after that you could say were a bonus. I found out about the deal when I was in the Arctic fishing with Peter and Peter didn't really tell me about it then but I had a feeling. Harry Sinden was on the trip and we are in this place in the Arctic fishing for Arctic char and he said that he heard that Wayne was going to be dealt and I said that Peter hasn't said anything to me so I don't know anything about it. We got back to Edmonton and went to Beaver creak to play in President Ford's Golf Tournament and the night before Peter told me and I gave him a shove and knocked him over a couch. We got on the phone with McNall and the deal was done and I told him we weren't going to do the deal, he said that he was going to sue Peter and I was able to get some more pieces out of the deal. It was the beginning of the downfall of that team. We won the Stanley Cup again because we had some good players bu there were a lot of things that happened, the meeting with Wayne, the call with McNall, the press conference. It was a fast and furious thing that happened after that phone call. It changed a lot of peoples lives, some for the better and some for the worse."
  • How frustrating was it to trade Wayne, who you were very close with, "I told him that it was going to impact his life dramatically. I told him the story of when Bobby Orr was traded from Boston to Chicago and they lost a lot of season tickets and their loyal fans. That is what happened to us, but you need to think of the right of the owner to do what he thinks is best for himself. Peter told me that he needed the money and needed to do the deal. What happened was, when Wayne signed the contract in Edmonton, he was coming off of the WHA contract and he had to have an NHL contract and he played a few years without an NHL contract but John Ziegler said that we had to get him under contract so Peter wanted to re-do the contract because it was Wayne and Peter being Peter thought that he could do anything he wanted with a contract but at the end of the contract there was no option. Getting down to the year or two left he was going to be a free agent and it was making Peter nervous. Wayne was the main guy on the Edmonton teams and he knew he couldn't afford him and wanted to capitalize when he could. And that is what led to the sale."
  • On trying to get Luc Robitaille, I felt that Luc would fit better with our team. Carson was a good player, he scored 50 and was an All-Star, but Luc was special. I envisioned that if we lost Wayne we would get Luc to play on a line with Mark and it would be a pretty good line. Jimmy didn't fit in with our team, whether it was Jimmy or because he was the main person in the trade. The players didn't really take to him so I ended up trading him for three players from Detroit, and I knew Detroit really liked him and we got Adam Graves as the main guy. Life carried on and it was never the same after Wayne left.
  • On flipping Jimmy Carson to get Adam Graves and co, "that deal really helped us to win the Cup in 1990. Carson was a good player but he didn't play many years after that. It was really the start of dismantling that team. Things were starting to change, some guys were frustrated because they weren't making the money they wanted. Wayne was sold so anyone could be sold and Peter was having some money problems."
  • On talking to Mark Messier and Kevin Lowe after trading Gretzky, "there were a lot of disappointed players but Kevin and Mark are team players who were gonna pick up the slack and carry it over the hill. They became more solidified in the room and it was a tough transition period but they are strong people. Peter did what he did and to his credit he still wanted to win and he was happy to win. That team came together and we won but it was really the following year when we had to start dismantling people because we couldn't afford to keep them anymore. The building was too small, there wasn't enough revenue coming into the team. It will always be a problem until they get a new building."
  • Would it be different if James Dolan or Darryl Katz owned the team at that time, "I'm sure it would have been. There are two different kinds of owners. There are people who own a hockey team because they want to win and be successful and there are guys who just want to make money. I think Darryl Katz is just like Dolan....they want to win, they don't want to lose much money but they want to win. Today in the NHL, lets face it, with the cap situation we are all pretty much in the same place but there are other things that you can do to make your organization better. I think Darryl and Dolan are the same in that way...they want to win. They are not necessarily concerned about the bottom line, it's about winning."
  • On the Rangers and whether you can buy a winner, "You need a combo, but your core players need to be drafted. You need a young group that can grow up together...it's tricky in a cap world, the way it is today....you need to go with the drafting. When I first got to New York we had a team that was loaded with a lot of problems and it takes time to get rid of those problems and you need to spend to get the assets and drafted players that you do need. It took a little while to dismantle that team and get some assets that were tradeable and we had the money to get them. I think we are in the situation today where we are very competitive, the youth we have, we have some good prospects. It doesn't mean you are going to win....we thought we were gonna be in the finals last year, but we ran into tough injuries and it took a toll on our team. Sometimes you get beat up pretty bad and things are so competitive today."
  • On the young Oilers, "the wonders of television and computers, we scout every team heavily just like everyone scouts us. Of course I really admire Kevin and MacT and Katz and I think they have done it the right way. They have a lot of really good young players coming and you never know if they are gonna grow up the right way or stay healthy. They have the right attitude about putting that team together."
  • Does the city need to move on, "Absolutely. You need to respect the past and but things change, times change, personnel changes. That is part of the history of Edmonton and the Oilers. I think the fans need to look forward and get behind these guys. You look at the Packers and what they did, they forgot about Lombardi and have gone into a whole new era. They are going to be very successful.
  • On a Rangers/Oilers final, "it would be great. We are going to play them in an exhibition game and it will be fun to be back in Edmonton again."
Tags: Glen Sather, Wayne Gretzky, Adam Rotter
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Today marks the 25th anniversary of the day that Wayne Gretzky was sent from the Edmonton Oilers, along with Marty McSorely and Mike Krushelnyski, to the LA Kings for three first round picks, Martin Gelinas, Jimmy Carson and $15 million.

At the time, Rangers GM Phil Esposito was approached by Oliers GM Glen Sather about acquiring Gretzky but Esposito said that the price was too high.

Esposito said in 2011 that Edmonton and the Rangers had agreed on the players who would be sent to Edmonton for Gretzky:

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When the Rangers fired John Tortorella, a few days passed and then reports started to surface that former Ranger Wayne Gretzky had interest in becoming head coach.

The Rangers head coaching job, along with President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, are believed to be the only two positions in hockey that Gretzky would consider at this time.

Speaking yesterday at a golf event, Gretzky told the CP that he never spoke with the Rangers and feels flattered when people mention his name for positions like this.

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In The Hockey News, Ken Campbell writes that it would be quite a big disaster for the Rangers if they hired Mark Messier or Wayne Gretzky to be their head coach.

Campbell writes that the lack of experience both men have would lead to a bad situation, "coaching is a craft that is learned over years of hard work and experimentation. You spend years learning which buttons to push and you pick up intricacies of the game that none but the most trained eye can see. You get a feel for your players and your bench and you learn what it takes to gain an advantage over the opposition during the frenetic pace of a game."

Campbell says that the only way hiring Messier or Gretzky would work is if they were figurehead coaches and the Rangers paid an exorbitant amount for an associate coach to do the actual coaching.

Tags: -2013 Rangers Coaching Search, Mark Messier Coaching, Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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Yesterday afternoon, Darren Dreger was a guest of TSN Drive with Dave Naylor and was asked about the chances that Wayne Gretzky ends up as head coach of the New York Rangers.

Dreger said, "It's a little far-fetched. The inexperience of Wayne Gretzky puts you in a state of disbelief that he would be seriously considered by the NY Rangers but there is that historical component that needs to be attached. He retired from the NHL as a Ranger. There is a long standing connection to Glen Sather."

Dreger said that he reached out to Gretzky twice about joining the Rangers, "All I know is what Wayne Gretzky himself told me last week when the rumblings started, first I added if I should put him on a candidate list and he said "no, I don't think so." A day or two later I circled back because the rumor was starting to spin, and I asked if coaching the New York Rangers was out of the question and he said highly, highly unlikely."

Tags: Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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On Hockey Central at Noon, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean spoke about the Rangers coaching?vacancy.

Kypreos said, "If they weren't interested we would have heard by now. When there was no follow up to Wayne Gretzky saying no, that was the day it became Glen Sather's biggest headache, nightmare. You can tell Dallas Eakins no...... but to tell Messier or Gretzky no is another story."

Doug MacLean, a former coach and GM, said that this is turning into a big headache for Sather and that he isn't sure Sather wants either one of them to be coach.

Tags: -2013 Rangers Coaching Search, Mark Messier Coaching, Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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9:47AM: Last Friday on TSN Radio, Darren Dreger said that he would consider Gretzky a long shot at best and that when the Rangers position became available he asked Gretzky if he should be included on a list of candidates and got a response saying "no thanks, but nice that you asked."

Dreger adds "there is a difference between wanting your name on a list and actually wanting a job."

Tags: Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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Recently on Sportsnet, Nick Kypreos spoke about how the next coach of the Rangers needs to understand the direction that the entire organization is heading in, starting with the future of upper management.

He said, "If you are going to consider a Messier, Gretzky or Leetch, you have to be crystal clear on the direction that you are personally going to go. Sather has held these cards so close to his vest and these guys want to know where the future is going. Is Glen Sather going to be involved for the next five/seven/ten years? He is 70 years old and at some point you want to groom somebody to come over."

Doug MacLean said that he thought that role, replacing Sather, was the one best suited for Messier.

Tags: -2013 Rangers Coaching Search, Alain Vigneault, Lindy Ruff, Mark Messier Coaching, Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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Reports out of Canada from former Ranger Nick Kypreos are suggesting that not only does Mark Messier have interest in the Rangers coaching position, but that Wayne Gretzky does as well.

Kypreos and Doug MacLean talked about the situation a little while ago on Sportsnet.

Kypreos said "I hear both of them are and to me that is the biggest story, that they haven't shoo shooed this at all. You look at where both guys are in their lives, and to say that they are intrigued by it and didn't dismiss the idea tells you volumes about the position of head coach of the NY Rangers. Mark Messier, no experience, Wayne Gretzky has four years of experience but to hear that their names are in play and possibly on a short list for Glen Sather says a lot."

Tags: Mark Messier Coaching, Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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5:58PM Nick Kypreos tweets that the Rangers job opening is intriguing to Gretzky.

12:50PM: Darren Dreger tweets "No truth to the rumor Wayne Gretzky has interviewed for coaching job in Vancouver. Word from both 99 and Canucks."

12:43PM: In the NY Times, Jeff Klein writes that while Mark Messier may be a candidate to become coach of the Rangers there is a former teammate of his who is currently out of a job and has prior coaching experience: Wayne Gretzky.

Tags: Wayne Gretzky, Wayne Gretzky Coaching, Adam Rotter
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At NHL.com, Dan Rosen spoke with Wayne Gretzky about the Rangers and while saying that the team has "everything" and a great goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, Gretzky couldn't help but praise Rick Nash.

Gretzky said, "let me tell you, this Rick Nash, he's a really good player. When you have a hard-working team like the Rangers, with guys like Callahan, and you bring in the most talented guy and he works as hard as those guys it goes through your room like it's infectious. That's one thing Nash does, he's a good player and he works his rear end off every day."

Gretzky chose Nash to play in the 2006 Olympics and acted as an adviser to Steve Yzerman who was picked the players in 2010.

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(picture via GreatestHockeyLegends.com)
"One of the things that people didn't understand; they always thought there was this hatred of the Oilers and the Islanders," explains Wayne Gretzky in the video below, from the documentary Ultimate Gretzky. "That really wasn't the case. As a team and as players, we idolized the Islanders."

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UFbWlByZdo]

As you well know, the Islanders swept the Oilers in four games in 1983. The next year the Oilers would turn the tables and win the series in five games, ending one dynasty and starting one of their own.

Tags: 1983 finals, 1984 finals, billy smith, dynasty, Islanders, mike bossy, News, video, Videos, wayne gretzky, youtube
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http://youtu.be/xHrwwb8A1uo

http://youtu.be/d5vFWldYKT8

Tags: Wayne Gretzky, Adam Rotter
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At NHL.com, Dan Rosen spoke with former Ranger Wayne Gretzky about what he sees in this years Rangers team.

Gretzky, who says that he still watches a lot of games and talks with Glen Sather, said:

"They have everything going in the right direction now. They play hard and they play smart. They believe in themselves and each guy does his own job. They don't have guys that try to do what they're not supposed to do. On top of that, John is a tremendous coach."
Gretzky added "They play with a great deal of pride and confidence. I think that was really evident in the Winter Classic. You could just see that they were not going to be denied winning that game."
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http://youtu.be/jglr-smZPE8

http://youtu.be/lFhJonKjNMQ

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In an excellent interview with Darren Dreger of TSN, Wayne Gretzky says that while he is out of hockey he is just a hockey fan but that he stills follows the Oilers, Kings, the Blues because of JD, and the Rangers.

On the Rangers, Gretzky says: "I always hope they do well."

This interview was awesome. I am far too biased to look at Gretzky as anything other than my favorite player, along with Mess, but listening to him talk hockey is just tremendous. I don't know what the future for him, besides a 99% chance (pun intended) that he play for the Rangers Winter Classic Alumni team, because right now he doesn't want to get back into the day in day out grind. He also said that part-time or smaller roles with teams don't work because people just think that he makes all the decisions.

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?I was introduced to it, probably, in New York,? Gretzky told MLB.com in February. ?Growing up, my dad was with the Rangers and I remember him taking me to a Yankee game and ever since then I?ve wanted to play."
AP

I hope that he doesn't sign and goes to San Diego State. This way the Mets will get another crack at drafting him.

Tags: Wayne Gretzky, Adam Rotter
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...This is a little strange but it has its moments

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...I had that poster with him and Messier. I still might somewhere

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...I found a tape I had of this game over the summer and watched it one day. I love that Jaromir Jagr scored the game winner

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The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, turns 48 today. So Happy Birthday Gretz.

Tags: Wayne Gretzky, Adam Rotter
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Messier and Gretzky, doesnt get better than that.

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