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Wayne Gretzky steps down from role with Oilers, joins TNT

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One day after the Edmonton Oilers were shockingly swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets, Wayne Gretzky decided to step away from his role as vice chairman of the organization.

The hockey legend announced his decision to resign with the following statement:

“With great appreciation, I wanted to let everyone know that I have decided to step away as Vice Chairman of the Edmonton Oilers effective today.

The Oilers, their fans, and the city of Edmonton have meant the world to me and my family for over four decades - and that will never end. Given the pandemic and other life changes, I realize I will not be able to dedicate the time nor effort needed to support this world-class organization.

I want to thank Darryl and Renee Katz, their family, and the entire team for all the support and friendship these past several years, and wish them nothing but success.”

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Gretzky held the role with the franchise since October 2016.

Shortly after Gretzky’s tweet, the New York Post reported that Gretzky will be joining Turner Network Television (TNT) as a lead analyst, which was later confirmed by Gretzky himself. His new role will pay him an estimated $3 million per season.

In April, the NHL announced that the league and Turner Sports reached a seven-year media rights agreement. Turner Sports and ESPN will be taking over as the media rights holders for the NHL at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, with the deal ending after the 2027-28 campaign.

Gretzky, 60, was also being recruited by ESPN, according to the New York Post, but it appears The Great One received a better offer from TNT.

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