Wayne Gretzky Will Reportedly Headline TNT’s NHL Studio Show After Leaving The Oilers

TNT has landed The Great One for its new NHL studio show, as they look to turn their NHL studio coverage into something as beloved as Inside The NBA.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Wayne Gretzky has agreed to a deal that will pay him around $3 million a year to be the lead face of their studio coverage. Gretzky will bring immediate name recognition for casual hockey fans, and the move comes just after Gretzky announced he was stepping down from his post as vice chairman of the Edmonton Oilers.

Per Marchand, Charles Barkley played a major role in recruiting Gretzky, who passed on offers from ESPN to headline their NHL coverage and will join Turner instead. Barkley and Gretzky are both avid golfers and friends, so Turner had a little extra inside access to tip the scales in their favor to land the biggest name in hockey.

Getting Gretzky is big for TNT, but as they know all too well with Inside The NBA, it’s not just about having big names. They’ll have to ensure they have plenty of personality alongside Gretzky to get him to be open and maximize the value that comes from having such a legendary figure on set. We’ll have to wait to find out who else they have in mind, but with the centerpiece in place they can begin that process of surrounding him with a host and other analysts that they hope can make their new NHL show a hit.