TNT reportedly courting Wayne Gretzky to fill 'Barkley-like' analyst role

·Hockey writer
·1 min read
Could Wayne Gretzky become the NHL's Charles Barkley at Turner Sports? (Getty)
Could Wayne Gretzky become the NHL's Charles Barkley at Turner Sports? (Getty)

The Great One is (possibly) making his way back into the hockey spotlight.

After initial reports that ESPN was courting the services of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky for a broadcasting role, Turner Sports has become the favourite to land Gretzky, according to the New York Post.

The two broadcasting giants, each securing seven-year TV deals with the NHL that begin next season, have been in a bidding war to secure Gretzky as an analyst, with TNT reportedly hoping to give the NHL's GOAT a similar role to the one Charles Barkley fills on “Inside the NBA.” ESPN reportedly bowed out of the race after the 60-year-old's salary demand rose to approximately $5 million per year.

With the new television deals in place, and NBC Sports losing its rights after their 10-year contract expires following the 2021 postseason, there is a new opportunity for both ESPN and TNT to get creative with their presentation of the NHL.

Whether it starts with Gretzky or not, it will be interesting to see what direction both broadcasting partners end up taking.

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