not sure if anyone saw the article on Gretzky today in the Arizona Republic.
Looks like the writer failed to do some history on Gretzky's past business ventures and merely wanted to write another article on how Gretzky's gutted this team of its superstars and hired all his friends and never attends games. The future impact of the CBA and the huge financial losses that the ownership group as accumulated don't get the attention they deserve. Seriously, if this franchise was making $20 million per season do you think they would have traded Teppo, Markov, Tkachuk, Amonte, Roenick, etc? It's that bloody simple.
What really gets me fuming though is the tone that everything Gretzky touches turns to gold. That's BS. He led Canada to a gold medal. Most Canadians could have named 90% of that team given 5 minutes of time and a copy of the Hockey News. Huge accomplishment yes but it's not like we're Slovakia and we weren't favored to win the bloody thing anyways.
The truth of the matter is Gretzky has not been a very successful businessman. The most famous flop was the free agent signing of Rocket Ismail when he was co-owner of the Toronto Argonauts. Gretzky made his money playing hockey. He's not a Rhodes scolar, he is not a guy who smells money when he's involved in a business. He's a retired hockey player who has the right to live his life and run his business with the best help he can find. Right or wrong that is his decision. I've done the travelling as part of my job and you know what, it sucks to live out of a suitcase. Every hotel and every city starts to feel the same and there is no place you would rather be than with your family in your own house. He deserves to have that luxery. Get off his back already. He's saving hockey in Phoenix. Isn't that enough responsibility for now.
Gretzky gets credit where it isn't due always (such as the signings of guys like McLeod and Amonte) but he also doesn't get credit for a lot of things he does. Not only did he partially help save hockey in Phoenix, he indirectly brought it to Phoenix in the first place. Had he not made the Kings such a good team in LA and made hockey the thing to do out there for a while, there would be no team in Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, or any other place in California.
Whatever happened to that Honus Wagner baseball card that Gretzky and McNall bought for like just under $200,000? QUOTE]
When Bruce McNall went to jail, Gretzky had to buy out McNall's half for $250,000. Don't know if Gretzky sold it to come up with the cash or held onto it, but sometime later a card was sold for 1.5 mill . Not too shabby!!!! Hope that it was Gretzky that cashed it in but info about buyer and seller was not disclosed. No way to know if it was the same card, but how many Honus Wagner cards can there be.
my gripe is gretsky's inclination towards hiring his friends or previous associates.
I have never understood this criticism??? Businessmen in every industry hire friends or past associates. To me it's good business sense since you know the quality of the people you are hiring. If Gretzky's character was questionable, I might doubt some of his hirings, but he is one of the classiest people on the face of the earth. It's not like he is Michael Jordan or someone with similar questionable character traits.
He has also shown that in certain cirucumstances, he goes out & hires some of the most respected people in the business (Fletcher & Draper). He also rewarded Bobby Francis for his achievements & was very wise in letting Bobby Smith go & keeping Shawn Hunter for as long as he wanted to stay.
My main issue with the artice was that it blasted Gretzky & then said it wasn't entirely his fault & listed the issues he must contend with. IMO, just another journalist trying to make a name for himself by attacking Gretzky.