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SBD/November 18, 2011/Franchises
Gretzky Sought After By Groups Eyeing Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Published November 18, 2011
RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB? In Toronto, Damien Cox writes Gretzky being a part of a group bidding for control of the Maple Leafs “just makes sense.” That U.S. investors, “who would almost certainly face criticism from fans, media and Canadian nationalists for scooping up hockey’s most valuable franchise, would want Gretzky as their front man makes even more sense” (TORONTO STAR, 11/18). However, SPORTSNET.ca’s Michael Grange wrote what the Maple Leafs “don’t need, necessarily, is Wayne Gretzky in an unspecified role as the figurehead of a US-based bid for MLSE.” Grange wrote, “If you’re an anonymous pile of U.S. money looking to squeeze a return out of a sacred local trust such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, perhaps one way to soften the inevitable local blowback is to get in bed with one guy most Leafs fans -- most hockey fans -- can agree on.” So Gretzky “isn’t the wrong guy.” But, "is he the right guy?” What Gretzky can bring “besides goodwill is an open question” (SPORTSNET.ca, 11/17). In Toronto, Steve Buffery writes Gretzky “was one of the all-time greats, but he hasn’t proven that he is able to translate his on-ice magic into off-ice magic.” Perhaps Maple Leafs fans “shouldn’t get too excited” (TORONTO SUN, 11/18).