The hockey rumor mill was in full tilt on Tuesday with the NHL season just a few days old, when Sportsnet built an incredible buzz with talk that Wayne Gretzky was possibly in discussions to join the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization. According to the initial reports, Gretzky was being courted to possibly become the next president for MLSE, although it has since been reported that no actual discussions have taken place between the Maple Leafs and Gretzky.
According to SB Nation's Pension Plan Puppets, the rumor began with a discussion about Gretzky on Sportsnet's Prime Time Sports which was then fueled by a tweet by show host Bob McCown, stating, "Gretzky next Prez. of the Leafs? There's a buzz..."
Sportsnet insider Nick Kypreos then piled on to the action:
Can definitively say preliminary discussionswithin MLSE have taken place. "@fadoobobcat: Gretzky next Prez. of the Leafs? There is a buzz"— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) January 22, 2013
The rumor came to a head late Tuesday night when TSN's Bob McKenzie jumped in with his opinion on the circulating rumor, giving a logical take on a discussion that had clearly gotten out of hand. According to McKenzie, while Gretzky would certainly be interested in such a position, no actual discussions have taken place inside MLSE about bringing the hockey legend to Toronto.
This was then confirmed by David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, stating:
Two sources close to MLSE board say there is nothing to the notion of the company looking at Wayne Gretzky as CEO or president or whatever.— David Shoalts (@dshoalts) January 23, 2013
Wayne Gretzky has been connected to MLSE recently when it was rumored he had been approached about a possible ownership stake in the Maple Leafs while the franchise was in the midst of a sale. Having Gretzky, hockey legend and Canadian icon, on board as the Maple Leafs president would be a serious public relations boon for the franchise, as evidenced by the media wildfire sparked by the rumors of his possible involvement with the new MLSE ownership.
For now, however, this appears to be nothing more than an Internet rumor run wild and a sure sign that hockey season is certainly back in full swing.