EDMONTON, AB - Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) Chairman Daryl Katz announced today hockey legend Wayne Gretzky has joined the organization in the capacity of Partner & Vice Chair. Gretzky will work closely with Katz and OEG CEO & Vice Chair Bob Nicholson in all aspects of the organization including business and hockey operations.
Iconic Oilers captain and all-time hockey great, Gretzky will work closely with the OEG team on the commercial side of the business to attract world-class sports and entertainment partnerships and events to Rogers Place, as well as supporting development initiatives in ICE District. He will also be a sounding board and resource for Oilers President of Hockey Operations Peter Chiarelli and his team to assist in key functions including player development, recruiting and mentorship.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have Wayne join the OEG team. He is an icon in the game of hockey, a respected voice across the NHL and a globally known brand," said OEG Chairman Daryl Katz. "Wayne's business acumen, along with his innate knowledge of the game of hockey will be a huge addition to OEG as we continue to build our global sports and entertainment business."
"This is a day that has been a long time coming. The Oilers family is honoured to welcome Wayne back into an official role within the organization where his legendary career began and where he will have a hand in helping both the Oilers and City of Edmonton return to a place of prominence," added Katz.
Gretzky's on-ice exploits are the stuff of legend as upon his retirement on 18 April 1999, Gretzky held or shared 61 National Hockey League records. Following his retirement in 1999, Gretzky became the ninth and final player to be immediately ushered into the Hall of Fame, and the first in history to have his jersey number retired league-wide.
Career highlights since retirement include positions as minority owner and Head Coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, Executive Director of 2002's Gold Medal-winning Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey team, owner of the popular Toronto bar and restaurant Wayne Gretzky's, winemaker with the celebrated Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery, and philanthropist with his own Wayne Gretzky Foundation and countless other charitable endeavours.
"I'm honoured to join Daryl, Bob and the exceptional group of people at OEG. Edmonton is a city I love and it has been so good to me and my family," said Gretzky. "Daryl is building something special with OEG and I'm really excited about being involved with the organization, not just for one year but for years to come."
"We are excited to welcome Wayne back to OEG and the Oilers," said OEG CEO & Vice Chair Bob Nicholson. "Wayne is a legend of the game and equally as good a person. He will add so much to our growing organization as a leader in all aspects of OEG's future plans."