Wayne Gretzky turned down 25% ownership stake in the Canucks.

Wayne Gretzky turned down 25% ownership stake in the Canucks.

The Great One tells the unbelievable tale of how he turned down a huge stake in an NHL team.

Jonathan Larivee

Each and every one of us has made a mistake or two over the course of our lives and some of us even may live with some regrets about those mistakes, but this story from National Hockey League legend Wayne Gretzky may top them all.

During a recent interview with former NHL players Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette of the Spittin Chiclets podcast, Gretzky shared the tale of how he turned down a massive ownership stake in an NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks.

According to Gretzky, the plan would have involved Nelson Skalbania, the man who famously signed 17-year old Wayne Gretzky to a World Hockey Association contract, purchasing the Vancouver Canucks and transfering a significant portion of that ownership to Gretzky.

"I talk to Nelson Skalbania all the time right?" began Gretzky. "He called me at 7 am when we won the Stanley Cup and said 'I'm gonna buy the Vancouver Canucks, I'll give you 25% ownership of the team and 3 million dollars a year,' now the highest paid player in hockey was me at that time was 800 grand Canadian."

That sounds like an offer so good that no one in their right mind would ever refuse it, but Gretzky offered the following response:

"I was like you know what Mr Skalbania you know I love you to death but it's not gonna work for me," revealed Gretzky.

Needless to say this is a decision that Gretzky may have come to regret over the years.

"How dumb am I?" said Gretzky with a laugh.

In fact Gretzky would mention how "dumb" he felt at three different points in a relatively short span, leading me to believe The Great One may still be kicking himself a little all these years later.

"But no, how dumb am I?" reiterated Gretzky for a third time.