The Fans In Phoenix – Or Wherever The Team Ends Up – Won’t Have Wayne Gretzky To Kick Around Anymore
Wayne Gretzky has announced that he will step down as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, putting to an end of controversy surrounding the clusterfuck of a franchise. Gretzky’s coaching record for the Coyotes was an abysmal 143-161-24 with no playoff appearances.
From Gretzky.com (via a very informative post on Puck Daddy):
“This was a difficult decision that I’ve thought long and hard about,” said Gretzky. “We all hoped there would be a resolution earlier this month to the Coyotes ownership situation, but the decision is taking longer than expected. Since both remaining bidders have made it clear that I don’t fit into their future plans, I approached General Manger Don Maloney and suggested he begin looking for someone to replace me as coach. Don has worked hard and explored many options. I think he has made an excellent choice, and so now it’s time for me to step aside.
“The Coyotes scouting staff has put together a great group of young and talented players who are going to improve tremendously over the next few years,” continued Gretzky. “I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled, the organization with which I’ve been associated and the thousands of dedicated fans who have never wavered in their support of this young team. I’m confident that the best is yet to come for hockey in Phoenix.”
“I want to thank every staff member of the Phoenix Coyotes, past and present. It was a real pleasure to work with each and every one of you. I’ve always said that Phoenix is a great sports city and deserves nothing but the best. I still believe that. As a young boy, I learned to play hockey in Southern Ontario, and I know what great fans they have there. It’s my hope they too will have an NHL franchise in the not too distant future.”
As Wysh points out, this is exactly why great players should never become coaches. They simply cannot and refuse to understand why one of their players can’t do it the same way they did. My guess is this is the last time we will ever see Gretzky behind the bench.
For those of you who are interested in this sort of stuff, Janet Gretzky is laying the odds that Gretzky will ever coach again at 400-1. That’s some sweet action!
Gretzky finally puts himself, Coyotes out of coaching misery [Puck Daddy]
Gretzky, wife address gambling ring allegations [ESPN]