EDMONTON — The Great One is coming home.
After seven years spent without an official role in hockey, the Edmonton Oilers announced Wayne Gretzky will re-join the franchise in a full-time role as partner and vice chair on Wednesday, hours before christening their new downtown home, Rogers Place.
The position will mark Gretzky’s first official title in hockey since stepping down as Phoenix Coyotes head coach in 2009.
Gretzky, 55, will have a role with the club similar in stature to Oilers vice chair Kevin Lowe. Gretzky’s voice will be heard in hockey-related discussions, but president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli will still hold final say for all on-ice personnel decisions.
Gretzky is not expected to relocate to Alberta’s capital, which he helped turn into the “City of Champions” with four Stanley Cups in the 1980s, on a full-time basis, but he will be spending a significant chunk of time around the franchise.
To be sure, this is more than just a ceremonial role for Gretzky. He already has enough of those honorary titles on his resume: In September, Gretzky was named the NHL’s ambassador for the centennial season by commissioner Gary Bettman. 
Gretzky’s willingness to take a defined role shows his interest in turning around the franchise.
“This has been a long time coming,” owner Daryl Katz said Wednesday. 
The Oilers can set a new NHL standard for longest drought between playoff appearances – 11 seasons – if they fail to qualify for the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Gretzky attended the unveiling of his bronzed statue on 104th Avenue outside of Rogers Place along with former teammates Jari Kurri, Lowe, Grant Fuhr, Craig MacTavish and Mark Messier.

He makes one of today's super stars look like the chump he is...I have seen this man play he has all the talent in the world and is a complete and utter disgrace to the sport!!!

Nick Kyrgios responded to fans who booed him at the Shanghai Masters by saying: "I don't owe them anything."
The Australian patted the ball over the net several times when serving as he lost 6-3 6-1 to German Mischa Zverev.
He also began walking back to his chair before a serve from qualifier Zverev had landed, argued with a fan and received a code violation for swearing.
It came a day after the 21-year-old said he was "bored" during his first-round victory over Sam Querrey.
Kyrgios admitted he "took the easy way out" and "tapped out a little bit" against Zverev in their second-round match, but said the crowd were wrong to criticise him.
"I feel like if they knew what they were talking about they'd be on the tennis court and being successful," he said.
"I can't really understand it at all. They don't know what I'm going through.
"If you don't like it, I didn't ask you to come watch. Just leave. If you're so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren't you as good as me? Why aren't you on the Tour?"
Kyrgios also said he "couldn't care less" if he reached the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, which features the top eight players in the world.

Murray offers Kyrgios advice

World number two Andy Murray said it was Kyrgios' job as a professional athlete to perform at his best in every match.
"He had a great week last week and it is not easy to back it up in a different city the following week if you are feeling a bit tired and jaded," said the Briton, who reached the third round in Shanghai with a 6-3 6-2 win over American Steve Johnson.
"But obviously you have to give your best effort of what you have on that day, that is your job as a professional athlete.
"If you are feeling sick, maybe you are not going to play well or perform as good, but you have to give your best with what you have on the day.
"That is something I have been trying to do in the last few years of my career, accepting when you are not feeling good, maybe a little bit stiff or sore, or a little bit down, you just have to try to push through it."
Kyrgios is ranked 12th in the world after winning the Japan Open on Sunday.
It is the highest ranking he has reached in a career in which he has fallen foul of the tennis authorities for his behaviour.
Last year he was fined $1,500 for a foul-mouthed outburst while playing in Shanghai.
That came two months after he was given a suspended 28-day ban for making a sexual comment about Stan Wawrinka's girlfriend during a match.

Earlier this year, his attitude was questioned after he lost convincingly to Andy Murray in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

What a nasty forcast for the next few days here in Nanaimo!!!

Graphic forecast

Yashi Kochi!!!