Report: Gretzky won't join ESPN, could land at TNT
ESPN is out of the running in its pursuit to lure Wayne Gretzky into a broadcasting role, the New York Post's Andrew Marchand reports.
Friday's development opens the door for The Great One to sign with TNT in a similar capacity, according to Marchand, who adds Gretzky's role with Turner Sports would resemble that of Charles Barkley on "Inside the NBA."
ESPN was reportedly willing to pay the legend a salary in the $2-million range but withdrew from the bidding process when the amount escalated beyond that point. Gretzky's likely to seek around $5 million if he joins Turner, reports Marchand.
On Thursday, a report stated ESPN approached Gretzky about a broadcasting position and that the 60-year-old Edmonton Oilers alternate governor hadn't declined, but his interest level was unknown.
The NHL and Turner agreed to a seven-year pact in April to complete the league's new U.S. broadcasting rights arrangement beginning next season. The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, inked a seven-year contract of its own with the NHL in March. The latter deal will make ESPN the league's primary American-based broadcast partner.