What will Wayne Gretzky be doing with all this new found time on his hands? That is the big question everyone is asking now.
He won't be the one cooking up Grandma Gretzky's Perogies at Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant in Toronto. He won't be picking the grapes at the No. 99 Estates Winery. With some reports suggesting he stands to lose as much as $20 million in the Coyotes bankruptcy case, he likely will be signing a few more jerseys and pucks for sale at the Gretzky.com Online Store.
But he may not be very active in hockey, either.
Gretzky has close ties to California, but not with any of the three teams located there. Unless he opts to move, his direct hockey ties may be on hiatus for a while. And he very well may want that.
Will he take on an increased role with Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics now? He is already a special consultant to Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman, and I don't expect that to change. He may very well have more time to scout, if only from his television, and to talk with Yzerman and his staff, but Gretzky is too classy to take too public of a role and cast his shadow on the current regime.
Both Eric Duhatschek, who is close to Gretzky, and Darren Dreger suggest Gretzky wants to coach again. But if that is to happen, it will not be may time soon.
One thing is for sure - Gretzky will one day be back involved with hockey. It will be possibly as a coach or a management position, but it will not be in some token ambassador role.
Slap Shots: If there is one person who should be ecstatic about Gretzky's current plight it would be author Stephen Brunt. His newest book, Gretzky's Tears: Hockey, Canada, and the Day Everything Changed, is due out in early October. All of this headline news can only be good for book sales.
Coincidentally, I received my advance copy of the text for HockeyBookReviews.com. I've already devoured half of it, and I can assure you it is good. Very good.
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