Gretzky looking to bring NHL team to Seattle: Report

Los Angeles Kings former player Wayne Gretzky waves to the crowd after the ceremonial puck drop...

Los Angeles Kings former player Wayne Gretzky waves to the crowd after the ceremonial puck drop before game one of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers at Staples Center on Jun 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA, USA. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 12:42 AM ET

Wayne Gretzky is among a group of investors trying to put an NHL team in Seattle, the New York Post reported Saturday.

It is not known whether the group is pursuing a new or existing franchise. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman visited Seattle said earlier this year but said the league is not looking at expansion anytime soon.

In any case, Gretzky's involvement adds credibility to a potential bid. It would be his second attempt to become an NHL team owner. He was a partner in a private equity firm's unsuccessful bid in 2011 for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA's Toronto Raptors.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly refused to comment to The Canadian Press on the report.

"We weren't there campaigning, we weren't asking for anything, and that's been misreported," Bettman said during his visit to Seattle. "Based on the level of interest we're getting from lots of people in Seattle and a fair amount of uncertainty and confusion about the building, we decided 'Let's go find out for ourselves what the story is with the building.' And there's no prospect of a building right now."

One of the problems for Seattle in pursuing an NHL team is the lack of a suitable arena in the city. Before a failed attempt by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer to lure the NBA's Sacramento Kings to the Pacific Northwest last year, Hansen said he planned to build a new arena in the city.

Hansen told KING5 News that he still hopes to construct an arena and land an NBA team.

"I would also like to assure Seattle fans that my remaining partners and I remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle," Hansen told the station. "The environmental review process for the Seattle Arena is nearing completion and we will soon be in a strong position to attract a franchise back to the Emerald City."


Photos