Blog Entry

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:36 am
 

By Brian Stubits

Earlier this week a report surfaced that an American investment group was interested in purchasing the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan's stake of 80 percent in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. At the same time, we had a little fun with the idea of an American owner adding to an American GM, American coach and an American leading scorer for arguably Canada's biggest team.

Well, the group might be adding one of Canada's most recognized faces to the party.

As reported by Sportsnet in Canada, Providence Equity has reached out to Wayne Gretzky about the Great One coming board ownership of MLSE with them in a potential purchase. MLSE also includes the Marlies (AHL), Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS) and Air Canada Centre.

"Yes, I've been approached by multiple firms considering the purchase of MLSE," Gretzky told Sportsnet.

That would certainly increase the cachet of a group trying to buy the majority of the Leafs.

While obviously Gretzky would not have a big part whatsoever as far as ownership stake is concerned -- the asking price for the majority share is believed to be more than $1.5 Billion -- he could be somewhat of a face for the group. One comment I received on Twitter about the original story was that it wasn't an American ownership group that concerned this Leafs fan, but the lack of a single face.

At this point, the purchase of MLSE by Providence or any other group still seems like a long-shot, but the OTPP has indicated it is looking to sell. So really it's a guessing game what involvement Gretzky would have at all. He tried his hand in the executive aspect of hockey down in Phoenix, which wasn't the greatest experience of his NHL career. Maybe the potential buyers would just be looking at him as a figurehead, a mascot if you will. Or perhaps he would sort of serve in a more functional role and be the face among the group.

It could be a very savvy move by Providence if they want to really try and purchase 80 percent of MLSE. It could help ease some of the xenophobic fears about an American group owning the team. Not to say that Leafs fans are against American involvement, but you know there would be a hint of xenophobia if this came to fruition.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: November 20, 2011 5:09 am
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

What an idiotic statement. We treat immigrants with the same respect and dignity we treat everyone with, rather than like a potential terrorist. Funny, when you treat people nicely, they actually LIKE coming here.



Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: November 19, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

noone wants to go here? youve obviously never been to canada.... i bet we get more tourists than the U.S 



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2011 8:11 am
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

I've never heard of Canadian politicians  tring to close our borders to immigrants.


They dont need to because no one wants to go thereSurprised



Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: November 19, 2011 5:17 am
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

You REALLY think the Maple Leafs need brand recognition? Really? 


Also, an American calling Canadians xenophobic? I've never heard of Canadian politicians  tring to close our borders to immigrants.



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2011 12:26 am
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

Honestly, you two need to go into a closet a beat the f#%k out of each other with idiot sticks. Gretzky would lift he franchise up, in terms of recognition and renewed US interest. Do it, WG, we need the Leafs solid and productive, on the ice and in the media.



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:12 pm
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

Pretty lame excuse , on your part , color me gone . The wife have her own money . And , that was what , 10 years ago now ? Lame . Isn't this group , part that wanted to buy Desert Dogs once ? They must have found some other people to join them . Who won't what to own a team from the Orginal 6 ? It's not being of what national you are . It's whether or not if you can handle the media and the people who are hungery for a championship . And , if you got the money too . Using the Great One , will help to make it a smooth ride while ownership take over . He will give the new owners a tour and whatnot . That's about it .



Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Gretzky approached by group interested in Leafs?

Tongue outIf the candien people are against having Americans owing part of which to me would be a waste of time and money,we have enough foreign things(people)here we don'nt need anymore.the great one wants to payoff his wifes gamble problem.


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