Wayne Gretzky had himself a nice little Christmas vacation, and he’s eagerly awaiting the three months he’ll get to spend at his lake house in Idaho. A return to hockey, you might notice, would disrupt those types of things.
Gretzky once again shot down any rumors that he may be contemplating taking a job with the Toronto Maple Leafs — or any club for that matter. Speaking to the NHL Network’s E.J. Hradek at his annual fantasy camp, Gretzky said that he’s enjoying his life too much right now to return to hockey in that capacity.
But that doesn’t mean he’s not flattered by the speculation, as untrue as it may be.
“I always say it’s flattering that people talk about me and mention my name to be part of something,” he told Hradek. “As I’ve said in the past, I really haven’t talked to anybody.
“Toronto is a wonderful city and a wonderful place, but I haven’t spoken to anybody with the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s nice that people mention my name and I find it flattering. That’s pretty much it, and it’s as simple as that.”
Gretzky says he still watches a ton of hockey and loves the game as much as ever, but he also enjoys the time he continues to find away from the game to do the things that being Wayne Gretzky prevented him from doing during his playing days.
“When you’re a professional hockey player, you have to be selfish, because that’s your life,” he explained. “Everybody around you has to understand that. That’s where your focus has to be. Now that I’m not involved, I’m selfishly enjoying things I never got to do. We went skiing at Christmastime, [and] we went to Hawaii after Christmas. June, July and August I like spending time at my lake house in Idaho.
“So those are the things I don’t feel like giving up right now. So that’s why I say right now it’s not for me to be back in hockey.”
However, Gretzky isn’t totally ruling out a return, either.
“I wouldn’t say never, but not right now.”
See the full interview below.