Wayne Gretzky says there is "100 per cent" no truth to the rumour he will succeed the fired Brian Burke as president of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Great One has mostly stayed away from the game since he resigned as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes on Sept. 24, 2009.
“It was news to me,” Gretzky told Hockey Night in Canada Radio host Elliotte Friedman and co-host Kelly Hrudey on Wednesday when asked if he had heard the rumour floated a day earlier on Twitter by Bob McCown of Toronto sports radio station The Fan 590.
Gretzky said the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are the only team to have contacted him about a return to the NHL, which he said isn't imminent.
Friedman said there have been reports at various times about third parties approaching Gretzky to guage his interest in a job with the Maple Leafs.
“Directly? No,” Gretzky said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with people in the [Maple Leafs] organization but not one time has there even been any direct contact. Really, the only team I’ve talked to about being involved is [general manager] Dean Lombardi and the L.A. Kings.
“I always have good friends of mine who live in southern Ontario, live in the Toronto area, asking if I’m going to be back in hockey and if you ever get back [I] should get back in this area.”
Burke was fired on Jan. 9 as Leafs president and GM after four playoff-less seasons on the job.
Gretzky, on the other hand, posted a winning record just once in his four-year stint as Coyotes bench boss, going 143-161-24 overall and missing the playoffs each season.