Wayne Gretzky’s On TV Again. Here’s how significant that is.
He is simply known as The Great One. There’s no dispute that he is the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of skates, and that lack of a debate is something that’s unheard of across any other sport. So, when you speak of Wayne Gretzky, you’re speaking about box office attraction, and that’s what Turner Sports has acquired after they announced that Gretzky will be joining the network on a multi-year contract as a hockey analyst.
I think that this is a huge get for Turner Sports. Simply put, when the greatest player in hockey history speaks, people will listen and will take their analysis as gospel. Basically, this hire is like if ABC hired Michael Jordan to do NBA analysis or if the YES Network got Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig to do commentary. It’s like a trump card. Getting Wayne Gretzky immediately lends credence to Turner Sports’ product, something they need as they take over from NBC Sports as the primetime broadcaster of the NHL.
However, this isn’t to say that Gretzky will have free reign to do whatever he wants. Given his stature, he’s going to go into the job and immediately face immense pressure to provide the best analysis from Day 1. With that pressure, he’ll be scrutinized by every NHL expert and fan the world over, so he’ll need to be on his A game from the beginning. That said, if he’s as good at TV analysis as he was as a player, he’ll have no problems.
Personally, I’m excited to hear the greatest hockey player ever give his analysis on things like whether he thinks Connor McDavid could be as good as him or if the New York Rangers will ever get their act together and challenge for the Stanley Cup. Time will tell whether his hire is a success or not, but it’s beyond exciting that we’ll get to hear The Great One talk about hockey again.