The Man Who Traded Wayne Gretzky Has Had It with Media Vilification

On March 8, Edmonton Journal reporter Cam Cole took a shot at former Oilers NHL hockey team owner Peter Pocklington in an article about the current movements of NFL star quarterback Peyton Manning. The third paragraph reads:

Pocklington, basically a small-timer trying to play with the big boys of NHL ownership, couldn’t afford to do that, couldn’t possibly make an exception even for the game’s most exceptional player without having his entire financial house of cards collapse.

Today, in the same newspaper, Pocklington responds, from Palm Desert, California. In his Op Ed, the former Oilers owner says his other businesses were not failing at the time he chose to trade Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings. Rather, he insists it was only the operations of the NHL team that were challenged. Writes Pocklington:

Someone reading this might wonder why I bother to respond. Truthfully, I don’t have a problem with the fact sportswriters disapprove of me trading Wayne Gretzky 24 years ago, although I might suggest that’s a long time to hold a grudge.

What really bothers me is how, for years, these people have disparaged me in every way possible without ever pausing to consider if their comments were fair or whether their words would be hurtful to my wife, my children and my grandchildren.

While Pocklington appeared for example at the fall 2009 Beverly Hills premiere of Peter Berg‘s ESPN deconstruction of the trade, this is the first time he has officially responded to his incessant tarring and feathering in the Canadian media. To read his Op Ed, click here.

[Photo: s_bukley/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: March 17, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT