Wayne Gretzky Is Headed To TNT In A Massive Move For Hockey Entertainment
NY Post - The Great One is headed to TNT, The Post has learned.
Wayne Gretzky will be a lead analyst on Turner’s premier studio show after agreeing to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $3 million per season, according to sources.
The 60-year-old announced Tuesday he was stepping down as vice chairman of the Edmonton Oilers after the Jets swept them out of the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday.
ESPN and Gretzky failed to reach a deal to bring Gretzky to Bristol, leaving TNT as the clear favorite, The Post reported nearly three weeks ago. Turner, with Gretzky’s buddy Charles Barkley serving as a recruiter, closed the deal.
When Wayne Gretzky announced today on Instagram that he would be stepping away from the Edmonton Oilers, I think everyone braced for something big. Whether it was going to ESPN, strapping on the wheels again to help Connor McDavid, or as we learned today, signing a ticket to go TNT to be the lead studio analyst.
I think this move is astronomical for hockey in America. The American hockey broadcast has struggled for a few years now to replace Jeremy Roenick with a face of the game for television. That's not to say any of the guys who have gotten the call up to the big leagues are bad, but you need a name to attract the non average hockey fan. Everyone knows who Charles Barkley and Shaq are. You don't need to have watched a single minute of basketball to know who these guys are. Why? Because they are household names. And now the US hockey market finally has their household name in Wayne Gretzky.
Who knows if Wayneo will even be good in front of the camera, but he will definitely make the transition of hockey TV power a whole lot easier for TNT. The fact they'll be able to market The Great One every night will be a home run for the network as they enter the hockey world for the first time.
The new TV deal is massive for hockey and it proved that once again today. Wayne Gretzky will be on TV in America multiple nights a week helping promote the game. Only a moron would chalk that up as an L at this point.