September 30, 2009
Gretzky Back To The Kings?
Kudos have to go out to the Los Angeles Kings for reaching out to Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky, who lives near LA, is the most important player in team history. But ever since his departure in 1996, he has been basically estranged from the organization. Given Gretzky's reluctance to uproot his family at this stage in life, the partnership would seem like a great fit.
Gretzky likely would be wanting much more than some alumni role discussed by Kings GM Dean Lombardi. The Kings should be looking for much more, too.
Gretzky's name, battered as it is after the Phoenix debacle, could once again draw attention to the Kings. The team has a number of promising young players and will soon, finally, be on the rise, although they lack star power - a necessary ingredient in the entertainment marketplace in Hollywood. Enter Gretzky, the greatest star the Kings have ever seen.
For Gretzky, not only is it a way back into hockey without leaving his home, but it is a way back in with an organization about to emerge. It could be a great way to re-establish himself as a winner. He is very protective of his image, and can not be happy with his perceived failings in Phoenix. Joining a rising Kings team at just the perfect time could make that all but forgotten.
It's a potentially great story for The Great One, and for the L. A. Kings.
Slap Shots: Watch for ESPN's new documentary King's Ransom, as they look back on the Gretzky trade to LA. Puck Daddy has a good commentary on the interesting film.