In his first public comments since getting the boot from the NHL-owned Phoenix Coyotes, "The Great One" claims he's not bitter.
There was speculation that Gretzky might be a no-show for the NHL's hall of fame induction ceremony last night in Toronto to spite the league and its leadership for ousting him from his coaching spot with the Coyotes.
To the delight of Canadians everywhere, number 99 showed up and insisted he's not pissed.
"What's there to be upset by? It's the greatest game in the world. ... I'm very proud of it. And life goes on," Gretzky tells the Ottawa Citizen.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
However, people close to Gretzky say he's less than thrilled with the NHL not honoring his $8.2 million deferred salary from the Coyotes after he got the boot -- and that's why there was speculation that Gretzky would not be in attendance
Considering some of the folks being inducted last night -- Gretzky didn't really have a choice.
Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch, and Steve Yzerman were all on the bill of honorees in Toronto, and Gretzky played with, and is buddy-buddy with, all of them.
Since Gretzky's departure from the Valley, Coyote games continue to attract precious few fans. But the team is currently 10-7 so at least it's winning.