Wayne Gretzky Stepping Away from Oilers Vice Chairman Role Effective Immediately

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2021

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - JANUARY 24: Wayne Gretzky addresses fans prior to the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Enterprise Center on January 24, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky announced Tuesday that he was resigning as the Edmonton Oilers vice chairman, effective immediately. 

Wayne Gretzky @WayneGretzky


Gretzky, 60, was hired as a partner and vice chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group in Oct. 2016. 

"It's a good organization," Gretzky said back in 2016. "Part of what enticed me to come back was they have so many good things in place. I can enjoy it, just be part of the group."

During his tenure in the Oilers' front office, the team has reached the playoffs twice, losing in the first round this season and the second round in 2016-17, as well as the qualifying round during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign. Edmonton has gone 190-148-35 and finished above .500 in three of the five seasons while Gretzky has been vice chairman.

Gretzky spent the first nine years of his playing career with the Oilers, winning four titles with the organization in the '80s, before stints with the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. 

He famously holds the NHL's all-time records for goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857), and nobody since has come particularly close. Gordie Howe is second all-time in goals with 801, Ron Francis is No. 2 in assists with 1,249 and Jaromir Jagr is second all-time in points (1,921). 

Yes, you read that correctly, Gretzky scored 936 more points than any other player in NHL history. Only 107 players in NHL history have even scored 936 or more points, and that's just the gulf between Gretzky and Jagr.

Here's another way to put that in perspective: Connor McDavid has averaged 95 points per season in his NHL career, an impressive scoring pace. At that current pace, he would need to play 24 more seasons to catch Gretzky. 

Following his playing career, Gretzky bought a small stake in the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001. He also eventually coached the Coyotes for four seasons, stepping down in 2009 after leading the team to a 143-161-24 record and zero playoff appearances.