It was reported late Monday night that Wayne Gretzky was not gonna compete in the Winter Classic alumni game on December 31.
At Sportsnet though, Nick Kypreos writes that the main issue with Gretzky is his ongoing fight with the league over the reported $8 to $9 million owed to him from his time in Phoenix:
When the NHL picked up former Phoenix owner Jerry Moyes’ debt in bankruptcy, they also picked a potential fight with the greatest ambassador the game has ever seen. According to the terms of his deal, the debt owed to Gretzky is as much as $9 million. Not exactly chump change, folks.
Kypreos also, indirectly, says that he will be playing for the Rangers in the game.
I hate this, not just because it is a reason that Gretzky won’t be at the alumni game, but because I hate not seeing Gretzky really having anything to do with the league now. Hopefully it gets settled soon and The Great One is back in the league in some way soon and there will be no question that he plays for the Rangers when they HOST the Winter Classic.