Wayne Gretzky resigned from his role as a partner and vice chairman with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
“The Oilers, their fans, and the city of Edmonton have meant the world to me and my family for over four decades – and that will never end,” Gretzky wrote on Twitter. “Given the pandemic and other life changes, I realize I will not be able to dedicate the time nor effort needed to support this world-class organization.”
The news comes one day after the Oilers were swept by the Winnipeg Jets in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup First Round following a 4-3 triple overtime loss Monday. Edmonton (35-19-2) finished second in the seven-team Scotia North Division to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Gretzky worked in Edmonton’s front office for five seasons. He joined the Oilers Entertainment Group as a Partner and Vice Chairman on Oct. 12, 2016.
Gretzky spent his first nine seasons in the NHL with the Oilers, helping them win the Stanley Cup four times, before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings on Aug. 9, 1988. He retired on April 18, 1999, after 20 NHL seasons with the Oilers, Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers.
Gretzky won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer 10 times, the Hart Trophy as League MVP nine times and the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs twice. He won the Lady Byng Trophy as the NHL’s most gentlemanly player five times, and made 18 consecutive All-Star Game appearances.
His No. 99 was retired throughout the NHL prior to the 2000 All-Star Game. Gretzky holds or shares 61 NHL records, and is the League’s all-time leading scorer with 2,857 points (894 goals, 1,963 assists). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 22, 1999.
“I want to thank (Oilers owners) Daryl and Renee Katz, their family, and entire team for all the support and friendship these last several years, and wish them nothing but success,” Gretzky said.