Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky Skates into the World of Ontario Politics


Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky Skates into the World of Ontario Politics

Hockey and politics: two topics that would never meet in an ideal world.

Mar 15, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A statue of Wayne Gretzky outside of Staples Center prior to a game between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, however, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky traversed this boundary, endorsing Toronto-area (Barrie) Conservative MP Patrick Brown for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.

Gretzky avoided an overly partisan endorsement by highlighting his personal relationship with Brown.

“I have known Patrick Brown for a number of years now,” Gretzky said in a statement. “Hard working and dedicated, Patrick is a strong Conservative. He has the passion and vision to lead Ontario.”

The Progressive Conservatives could certainly use an assist from the Great One: they’ve lost four consecutive elections to the governing Liberals. A one-member, one-vote election will determine the party’s next leader in May.

Live Feed

Game Preview: NY Islanders @ Edmonton Oilers
Game Preview: NY Islanders @ Edmonton Oilers /

Eyes On Isles

  • Is it time for the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin to worry?Puck Prose
  • What is a hat trick in hockey?FanSided
  • Can Connor McDavid reach 200 points in a single-season?Puck Prose
  • The Greatest Fans A Tribute: The Edmonton OilersOil On Whyte
  • The Best Edmonton Oilers Trades of All TimeOil On Whyte
  • (I’m sure TSN will put together a Top-Ten highlight reel package for Gretzky’s endorsement at some point.)

    Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time hockey and politics have mixed. Hockey pundit Don Cherry is known for his strong political views – a key point of contention among his many critics – while Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently wrote a book about the “original” Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Leafs legend Frank Mahovlich is another example. He sat as a Liberal Senator from 1998-2012 after being appointed to the Red Chamber by former prime minister Jean Chrétien.

    (I think we can all be thankful that Glenn Healy‘s jump into federal politics never materialized.)

    Mar 31, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Kings fan Robbie Romeo shows off his Wayne Gretzky jersey before the game between the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    There are many other examples that can be added to this list, including Montreal Canadiens legend and former Leafs executive Ken Dryden, but the point should be obvious by now: we can’t always avoid the ugly marriage of hockey and politics.

    What are your thoughts? Is this a fruitful union? Will Gretzky’s endorsement influence you? Does it even matter? Can you think of any other examples where hockey and politics collided (hint: think 1972)?

    Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

    Follow me on Twitter for regular posts about sports (especially the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays), politics and other news topics: @williamefwilson