Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was made an analyst for Turner Sports’ new NHL coverage, part of a quick ramp-up in talent as the WarnerMedia unit prepares to handle a new seven-year deal with the league it hopes will expand its professional-sports presence and draw new viewers to cable outlets like TNT and TBS.
Gretzky is slated to offer studio analysis during key moments of the NHL regular season and throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, under terms of a new contract. Kenny Albert and Eddie Olczyk will call live games throughout the season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Gretzy’s hire was previously reported by the New York Post.
“This is an exciting opportunity to share my experiences and perspectives on the game I will always cherish, while hopefully informing and entertaining fans along the way,” Gretzky said in a prepared statement. Known as “the Great One, ‘Gretzky played 20 seasons in the NHL, including winning four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers. He is the league’s all-time leading scorer with the most goals and assists in a career. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame immediately following his retirement in 1999.
Albert. a veteran sportscaster who has led coverage of everything from football to basketball to boxing, will serve as lead play-by-play commentator, while Olczyk, a former New York Ranger, will serve as lead analyst.
WarnerMedia’s new NHL deal includes live coverage of the Stanley Cup Final on TNT in three of the seven years; half of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each year; and rights to up to 72 national regular season games. TNT will present the NHL Winter Classic each year, among other live events related to the league.