Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky has been approached by an American company interested in purchasing a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, owners of hockey team the Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA squad the Toronto Raptors.
The Great One, known as one of the greatest National Hockey League players ever, is being courted by Providence Equity Partners, an American equity firm said to be interested in buying a stake in MLSE, according to a report from Sportsnet. In some way, the firm wants Gretzky to join their purchase.
Gretzky was asked about the interest from the Providence group, and he told Sportsnet: "Yes, I've been approached by multiple firms considering the purchase of MLSE."
There was no other information about Gretzky expressing interest in the purchase. He hasn't had the best luck with owning teams: Sportsnet writes the last team he owned, the Phoenix Coyotes, still owe more than $8 million in deferred money, due to an ongoing bankruptcy tie-up with the NHL.
Earlier this year, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Fund, the majority owner of MLSE, announced they were interested in selling their $1.5 billion share in the sports behemoth.
One NHL executive told the Toronto Star said the league “would love to have Wayne back in the game” but he added it was unfair to link him to the Leafs.
Gretzky retired from hockey in 1999 after decades of dominating the stat board. He won a Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers and led the Los Angeles Kings to a Stanley Cup Final.