"If you have hockey questions, I would be glad to stand here and talk you all day," said Gretzky, the sport's all-time scorer, currently the coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and also the general manager of the Canadian Olympic team.
There were few hockey questions, however, and Gretzky soon left the podium. Law enforcement officials have targeted Gretzky's assistant coach and his wife in an investigation of an alleged gambling ring.
Stars from the NHL arrived in Italy this week to prepare for the men's Olympic hockey tournament, which begins Wednesday.
Kazakhstan and Sweden will open the action, followed by Italy vs. Canada, Switzerland vs. Finland, Germany vs. the Czech Republic, Russia vs. Slovakia and Latvia vs. the United States.
After a five-game round-robin, the top four from the two six-team groups will advance to next week's quarterfinals.