Why did the Maple Leafs decide against signing Wayne Gretzky as a free agent in 1996?
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01-26-2013, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
The "Gretzky wanted equity" stuff from Stavro is complete nonsense. Total smoke screen.
That off season Gretzky could have went to four teams: Vancouver, Dallas, Toronto or the New York Rangers.
A deal with Vancouver fell apart. Gretzky didn't really want to go to Dallas (he had already played in a southern market when he was in LA).
That left Toronto and New York. Fletcher worked out a deal that Gretzky accepted and it was kiboshed by Stavro - who was in full cost cutting mode at the time to save money to build a new arena.
The equity thing is complete BS. If Gretzky wanted equity in the Leafs, wouldn't he have demanded the same thing from the Rangers, where he eventually signed - with no equity in the deal?
Secondly, I don't believe NHL bylaws allows a player to hold equity in the team they play for. By rule he wasn't allowed to own a piece of team while he was still playing.
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