Wayne Gretzky resigns after leaving the Oilers playoffs
Wayne Gretzky said he will resign as vice chairman of Edmonton Oilers.
Gretzky said in a statement on Twitter on Tuesday that he is making this decision, “considering the pandemic and other life changes.”
Gretzky, 60, said that he would “not be able to spend time and energy to support this world-class organization.”
This move came after the Winnipeg Jets completed their sweep of Edmonton in the first round and the day after the Oilers were eliminated from the playoffs. The Oilers are the two highest-scoring scorers in the league in the regular season, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Gretzky said: “The Oilers, their fans and the city of Edmonton have meant the world for forty years to me, and this will never end.”
As an Edmonton player, NHL has always been a leading scorer and four-time Stanley Cup champion, Gretzky returned to the forefront of the Oilers team in 2016.
The team stated in his resume on the Oilers website that Gretzky’s responsibilities include working with the company’s commercial Oilers Entertainment Group and supporting development plans for the area where Rogers Place is located.
The team said Gretzky worked closely with owner Daryl Katz and oil company chairman Bob Nicholson on all aspects of the organization.
Ken Holland is the general manager and president of the team’s hockey business.
Gretzky was not involved in daily interactions with the media while at the Oilers front desk.
After Gretzky’s father Walter passed away in March and expressed his condolences at a national televised ceremony, Gretzky returned to his hometown of Brantford, Ontario.
Rogers Place opened in 2016. Due to COVID-19, it co-hosted the Stanley Cup playoffs with Toronto last summer. The Tampa Bay Lightning finally lifted the Stanley Cup in Edmonton.
The arena is also the venue for the World Junior Hockey Championship. During the recent Christmas holidays, no fans were in the stands.
As a player, Gretzky led the Oilers to four NHL championship titles, and then was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in a stunning deal in 1988. He continued to play for St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers before retiring in 1999.
After his career, Grezki entered the Phoenix Coyotes coach for four seasons.
Gretzky also served as the executive director of the Canadian men’s ice hockey team in 2002 and 2006. “Team 02” won the gold medal in Salt Lake City.