Gretzky an ‘unofficial’ advisor to NHL in Vegas

Elliotte Friedman sits down with prospective Las Vegas NHL owner William Foley to get his thoughts on why the NHL will work in Vegas and his connection with Wayne Gretzky.

There are a lot of skeptics around whether or not an NHL team will thrive in Las Vegas, but prospective owner William Foley is not one of them.

“We’re very confident Las Vegas is ready for hockey,” Foley said in an interview with Elliotte Freidman on Hockey Night in Canada.

Part of his confidence may come from his friend and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.

The duo have been working together selling wine throughout the United States, and it seems that business discussions have detoured towards a potential NHL franchise coming to Las Vegas.

More NHL on Sportsnet:
Subscribe: Rogers GameCentre Live
Rogers Hometown Hockey | Broadcast Schedule
Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool

“I’ve always felt that it’s bad luck to start planning too far in advance,” Foley said of Gretzky’s current involvement. “But, Wayne is an advisor. He’s an advisor today, and I’m sure he’ll be very helpful to us as we move forward.”

In addition, Gretzky confirmed with Sportsnet’s John Shannon that he has been an “unofficial” advisor to Foley.

John Shannon on Twitter

If Gretzky’s role does become more defined in the upcoming months it wouldn’t be the first time the all-time NHL scoring leader has dipped his toes in the frigid water of NHL ownership. The 53-year-old was a member of the Phoenix Coyotes ownership between 2001-2009. He’s also been mentioned in rumours connected to the Toronto Maple Leafs presidency, though nothing ever came of those.

Since stepping down as head coach of the Coyotes back in September 2009, Gretzky has been largely absent from the NHL in an official capacity, and his involvement with a new Las Vegas franchise would mark a heralded return for the revered former NHL star.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.