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Gretzky part of group seeking Seattle NHL team: report

Wayne Gretzky is now part of an investment team seeking an NHL team for a new Seattle arena, per a report in the New York Post.

The report doesn’t have much in terms of specifics — rather, it just reports that Gretzky is part of a potential Seattle ownership group:

It is not known if the Gretzky group or either of the other two groups are eyeing an expansion team or hope to move an existing team to the Pacific Northwest.

A move to buy a Seattle team would mark at least the second time the 53-year-old Hall of Famer tried to become an NHL owner.

In 2011, Gretzky partnered with Providence Equity Partners, a New York private-equity firm, in a $1.5 billion bid for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA Toronto Raptors.

The issue for Chris Hansen, who has worked to bring the NBA to a new downtown arena: when does he move ahead with arena construction? It’s been harder to bring either the NHL or the NBA to Seattle than some expected: the NHL decided to stick with the Coyotes in Arizona, and a New York investment group is working on a new Milwaukee Bucks arena after buying the NBA franchise from Herb Kohl. Now, that’s not to say the Bucks won’t be available if plans for a new Milwaukee arena fall through (which is entirely possible). The NHL braintrust says no expansion is on the way, and it looks like teams facing problems in the past (New York Islanders, Nashville Predators) have addressed those issues.

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