Former Hockey Evening in Canada govt producer John Shannon provided a fast two-word reply when requested what Wayne Gretzky’s biggest problem could be as a studio analyst for Turner Sports activities.
“Understanding time,” he stated.
“And that could be Wayne’s biggest power as a result of on the ice he understood time. However the time constraints of tv are when you have the best story to inform, you solely have 45 seconds to inform it.
“That turns into the true problem, and to be taught to be precise, to be concise and to be efficient. Choose your phrases correctly however with enthusiasm.”
Gretzky’s transfer to the hockey broadcasting world was made official Wednesday after he signed a multi-year cope with the American-based community. He’ll present studio evaluation for premier regular-season occasions and the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The NHL lately reached multi-year offers with Turner Sports activities and ESPN for his or her American tv protection, which is able to finish the league’s affiliation with NBC beginning subsequent season. Turner has earned essential approval for its use of former gamers Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on its NBA protection.
Shannon, a longtime sports activities broadcaster, stated that Gretzky is a “improbable” storyteller.
“To begin with, he’s a hockey historian,” he stated. “I’d let you know that he has a photographic reminiscence. He remembers every thing that occurs. I feel he’s an ideal individual to be on a panel to speak concerning the character of the sport. I feel he’s an ideal selection.
“For all these years, he does the well-known interviews and he does the hockey-speak. In personal, he has an ideal wit. He has excellent perception and he has common sense within the sport. Considered one of his buddies is Charles Barkley. I hope somewhat little bit of Barkley rubs off on Wayne in an effort to inform tales. I actually do.”
Gretzky instructed The Related Press this week that he’ll be trustworthy and forthright however not controversial, including he’ll be “far more constructive” than unfavorable since that’s his nature.
“If you happen to’re truthful with somebody, you may be essential. If you happen to’re truthful with somebody, you may be constructive,” Shannon stated. “In order that turns into a giant a part of when Wayne’s put in that place, what he’ll need to do.
“The opposite factor is that if Wayne says one thing, even whether it is essential, who’s going to argue with a man who holds 60 NHL information? It’s not as if he hasn’t seen each state of affairs on the ice.”
Tom Mayenknecht, a Vancouver-based advertising and marketing communications govt and sport enterprise commentator, stated Turner Sports activities deserves credit score for touchdown somebody of Gretzky’s “sheer standing.”
“TNT has landed essentially the most acknowledged and iconic hockey character within the historical past of the sport, actually so far as the U.S. is anxious,” he stated. “He brings place to begin engagement benefits within the two largest media markets in North America, L.A. and New York, given his years taking part in in these markets.”
Many elite athletes have made the transfer into the studio or broadcast sales space after retiring from aggressive play.
Mike Harris, who received Olympic silver for Canada on the 1998 Nagano Video games, has been a longtime curling broadcaster for CBC and Sportsnet. He stated specializing in honesty and objectivity is essential for any analyst.
“Folks wish to know what’s going on on the degree that I understood the sport,” Harris stated. “Definitely for Wayne it might be the identical factor.
“And what he sees will definitely be issues that no one else can see.”
Gretzky, 60, has served in quite a lot of teaching and govt roles since retiring as a participant in 1999.
He received the Stanley Cup 4 occasions with Edmonton and spent the final 5 years in a front-office place with the crew. Gretzky stepped down as vice-chairman of the Oilers on Tuesday.
Turner’s seven-year settlement begins subsequent season. In addition to regular-season and playoff video games, it additionally contains the 2023, ’25 and ’27 Stanley Cup finals on the TNT cable community.
“We wish to see the Nice One,” Shannon stated. “When he performed, it was all instinctive on the ice. I’m hoping we see intuition on the air with Wayne.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Might 27, 2021.
With recordsdata from The Related Press. Comply with @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
Gregory Sturdy, The Canadian Press