Wayne Gretzky likely heading to TNT?
With NHL rights shifting to two new networks next season, there’s a scramble to pick up on-air talent for coverage of the sport. In that race, it appears Turner has won the biggest prize of all.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, TNT is likely to add Wayne Gretzky as an analyst for its studio coverage starting in 2021-22. TNT was battling ESPN for Gretzky’s services, but ESPN bowed out when bidding for Gretzky significantly surpassed $2 million per year. Gretzky is expected to earn roughly $5 million from TNT.
Gretzky has never served as a broadcast analyst before, spending his retirement on business ventures, working with the Canadian men’s hockey Olympic team, and an ill-fated stint with the Phoenix Coyotes over a decade ago.
TNT loves to get big-name opinionated former players for its studio shows, as evidenced by the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Pedro Martinez on the network’s NBA and MLB coverage. It’s hard to see Gretzky being all that similar to Barkley in terms of unfiltered opinions, but nobody knows more about the sport than he does.