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Gretzky’s Treatment by the NHL

From Johnette Howard at ESPN:

Several league sources confirm paying Gretzky what he’s owed has been discussed by NHL’s remaining 29 owners during the long, often difficult, effort to resell the Coyotes.

So what’s the hang-up? The sharply worded reasons given when I call and ask league insiders are startling: “Every one of the 29 owners is part-owner of Coyotes now, and they’re not looking to spend a penny more, OK? … Who gives any coach or GM $8 million a year anyway? That was a mistake. No wonder that franchise went into bankruptcy. … Wayne’s done all right in life. He’s just having a little pout. … There was a lot of support to pay him. There was also sentiment the franchise went down and he should suffer like everyone else who got stiffed.”

There are words for how Gretzky is being treated by the NHL right now.

Indefensible is one. Shoddy is another.

Gretzky isn’t “like everyone else.”

This is the Great One we’re talking about. The man who is easily the NHL’s most important figure of the last 30 years.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Comments

MarkK's avatar

That whole part in italics seems petty darn reasonable to me.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 04/14/11 at 05:17 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Did the team put Gretzky’s debt in their bankruptcy package? If yes, that sucks for #99. If no, pay the man. This is a contractual/legal issue more than anything else.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/14/11 at 05:25 PM ET

SK77's avatar

So ... 8 million divided by 29 is almost $276,000 per owner. And you want all the owners to kick that in because one bonehead owner threw a bunch of money at a legendary player ... to be a mediocre coach?

Un-frickin-believable.

Posted by SK77 on 04/14/11 at 05:26 PM ET

Avatar

From someone who was always on the Mario side of “the discussion”... I am 100% behind Wayne on this one.  This is very very simple.  There is no NHL today without Wayne and what he did for the sport 15 years ago. They need to pay the man what is owed to him.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/14/11 at 05:28 PM ET

Puck's avatar

There is no NHL today without Wayne

Bullshit. You’re probably all over the Crosby saved the NHL drivel too. Your sycophancy reeks.

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 04/14/11 at 05:36 PM ET

Avatar

15 years ago.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Posted by Garth on 04/14/11 at 05:45 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Sorry he has to suffer like all the others ! He bled it dry! Brought in his agent as GM & that failed Miserably

Wayne was Great but in the end he is Human just like all the others stiffed

Posted by Evilpens on 04/14/11 at 05:51 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Why should the NHL pony up a dime for Gretzky?

He was promised money by a boss who went bankrupt.  Unless Wayne is going to lace up the skates and single-handedly bring back the high-scoring era, paying $8M for sentimental reasons is a ridiculous business decision.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/14/11 at 05:52 PM ET

calquake's avatar

As much as I hate to agree with GtoL, he does make a valid point.  There would be no franchise in L.A. if Gretzky hadn’t played there.  He helped to grow the game in the U.S. so these very owners could make their money.  Like redxblack points out… if it is indeed a contractual matter, pay the man.

Posted by calquake on 04/14/11 at 05:55 PM ET

aaron in phoenix's avatar

in a traditional bankruptcy the guys who are owed money are out of luck, basically,” Checketts said.

So why should this be any different? You’re paid $8M a year to be a coach, you should know you’re owner is delusional. Lesson: Careful who you get into bed with.

He’ll get paid if/when the sale happens. Just let any other bankruptcy.

Posted by aaron in phoenix from Section 102 on 04/14/11 at 05:58 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

You know good and well if it was little gary who was owed several million and the league were in bankruptcy, bettman and the other lawyers in the league offices would get theirs before the whole thing imploded.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/14/11 at 06:05 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

No DRD he would Make sure Sid Got it since he is in bed with him ............RIGHT

Posted by Evilpens on 04/14/11 at 06:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You know good and well if it was little gary who was owed several million and the league were in bankruptcy, bettman and the other lawyers in the league offices would get theirs before the whole thing imploded.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/14/11 at 04:05 PM ET

Which is exactly why we have a lawyer in charge of the NHL instead of a hockey fan.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/14/11 at 06:12 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/14/11 at 04:05 PM ET

So your argument is based on a fantasy world that doesn’t exist?  In that case I think I deserve some money too, because I like hockey.

Posted by Garth on 04/14/11 at 06:12 PM ET

Avatar

As much as I hate to agree with GtoL, he does make a valid point.

was it really that hard?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/14/11 at 06:19 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

All im saying is the big boys always get theirs. As for who sleeps with whom? Couldn’t care less. Even sidney.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/14/11 at 06:20 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If somebody can explain to me the ins-and-outs of the contract Gretzky had and whether he was still owed after being fired from his job, I can see the argument for “pay him, it’s contractually obligated”.

But “he was the league’s best player for more than a decade” is a shitty reason to give the guy money.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/14/11 at 06:29 PM ET

Avatar

“he was the league’s best player for more than a decade”
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/14/11 at 04:29 PM ET

Is that the extent of how some of y’all view Gretzky overall?

Posted by NathanBC on 04/14/11 at 06:34 PM ET

awould's avatar

If it weren’t Gretzky, nobody would care. What he did as a player means nothing in this argument. Like the article says, if they pay him, it’s because they feel like doing right by him because of who he is, outside of the situation.

Gretzky did a lot to contribute to the current problems the Coyotes face. I don’t feel bad for him at all.

Posted by awould on 04/14/11 at 06:34 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Is that the extent of how some of y’all view Gretzky overall?

Posted by NathanBC on 04/14/11 at 04:34 PM ET

It’s horribly oversimplified, but the concept of sentimentiality stays the same.  Paying him for contractual reasons = good.  Paying him solely for sentimental reasons = bad.

I’d say the same about even my beloved Steve Yzerman (while shouting obscenities about the ownership and the league for letting it all go to shit like that in the first place).

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/14/11 at 06:37 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Bells, Whistles, Red Lights & Siren should have went off in Wayne’s Head when the former owner agreed to pay Him 8 Million a year to be a Coach when he had NEVER been a coach before

Posted by Evilpens on 04/14/11 at 07:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

Bells, Whistles, Red Lights & Siren should have went off in Wayne’s Head when the former owner agreed to pay Him 8 Million a year to be a Coach when he had NEVER been a coach before

Gretzky was an owner. Minority stake, but still. That’s what makes his claim to be paid even less sympathetic.

Posted by awould on 04/14/11 at 07:28 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

awould STILL it shows how stupid, reckless & Incompetent that owner was

Posted by Evilpens on 04/14/11 at 07:35 PM ET

calquake's avatar

was it really that hard?

That’s what she said.

Posted by calquake on 04/14/11 at 07:38 PM ET

awould's avatar

awould STILL it shows how stupid, reckless & Incompetent that owner was

Yes it does. no argument here. I live in phoenix and have watched this debacle up close for years now. I have no sympathy for the City of Glendale, they got themselves into this mess all by themselves. Had the arena been built in Scottsdale or even downtown Phx, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad. I have tickets to Game 4 next week and it is about a 100 mile roundtrip drive for me. The problem started when Ellman got the team to build it in Glendale…. on land he owned/controlled. He still owns the retail center that surrounds the project. By taking control of the team for a short period of time, he engineered a massive increase in real estate values for huge tracts of land he controlled. It was a rip-off; the arena was built there despite it being a terrible location. They thought they could build up the area around the stadium instead of building the arena where people already were, and then everything crashed.

As a hockey fan, I hope we keep the team. But if we don’t, so be it. Lesson learned and it will be a long time before another City anywhere in this country puts tax dollars towards building a stadium for some rich guy’s toy team.

Posted by awould on 04/14/11 at 07:45 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

If he is contractually owed the money for coaching now and it is normal for him to receive his compensation considering their legal and financial troubles then he should be paid.  No matter how ridiculous the amount is.  If his pay gets thrown in with all the other crap of their problems then he should loose out like everyone else.  What he did as a player years ago has nothing to do with it.  He was paid then for his play then and got everything he was owed as a player, no matter how great he was.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 04/14/11 at 08:37 PM ET

Avatar

If I’m not mistaken, much of the money Gretzky is owed isn’t for coaching, but for a minority ownership share. He should get, percentage-wise, whatever the majority owner gets. If that’s nothing, it’s nothing.

Posted by steviesteve on 04/14/11 at 08:54 PM ET

ChowYunCat's avatar

I have tickets to Game 4 next week and it is about a 100 mile roundtrip drive for me.

Hey awould, I’m going to the game, but driving from Tucson. I’ve never been to either city (or to playoff hockey), so how much time should I give myself to get there?

Thanks.

Posted by ChowYunCat on 04/14/11 at 10:51 PM ET

awould's avatar

You got about a 90 mile drive from tucson to the southern part of Phoenix, then another 70-90 minutes from there depending rush hour. No idea if the drive from Tucson to Phx is affected by rush hour. Phx rush hour is from about 3:30 to 7 and it is slow.  Also, there are usually a lot of cops waiting to give you a ticket on that stretch of I-10, so don’t speed.

I’d give myself 3.5 hours to get there with some time to spare. There are a lot of bars and restaurants all around the stadium to kill some time and better early than late. Also, getting in and out of parking is quick.

If you are a Wings fan wear red…. Phx does the white out.

Posted by awould on 04/15/11 at 12:52 AM ET

ChowYunCat's avatar

Awesome advice, thanks!  I bought tickets behind the Wings’ bench, and I’m bringing red jerseys.  Dad’s wearing 5, I’ll be wearing 93.

Posted by ChowYunCat on 04/15/11 at 01:10 AM ET

awould's avatar

Great seats! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of Wings fans in attendance. I usually go to both games the Wings play in town and it feels like a home game.

If you’re parking in the general lot, which is free and easy, when you’re getting close to the arena, take the Bethany Home exit.

Good luck on making it in time. Go Wings!

Posted by awould on 04/15/11 at 01:43 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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