Wayne Gretzky was linked to the vacant presidency of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, which created a social-media firestorm before the rumour was shot down by MLSE president Tom Anselmi.
Bob McKenzie of TSN reported the Hockey Hall of Famer may have been discussed internally at the Leafs parent company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., as a candidate for president in August. He speculated there might even have been inquiries made of Gretzky through third parties, but no direct contact.
A source with ties to MLSE suggested at least some of the company’s board of directors thought about Gretzky as a potential replacement for general manager Brian Burke, who was fired two weeks ago.
Such talk was later dismissed by Anselmi, as well as two sources close to the MLSE board.
There is “no truth to it, whatsoever,” Anselmi said.
“I never heard this in my life,” one source added. “I do not believe there is anything to this story.”
A second source said even though Gretzky does have experience running the hockey operations of the Phoenix Coyotes, the MLSE board chose David Nonis as Burke’s replacement.
Gretzky could not be reached for comment.