September 24, 2009

Gretzky leaving the Coyotes: 99 Done in Desert: Gretzky announced that he was stepping down as the Coyotes' coach, effective immediately. In a statement he released on his own website,, the Great One said he thought "long and hard" about his decision and had hoped for an earlier resolution to the Coyotes' ongoing ownership woes. However, Gretzky said he was able to read the writing on the wall, noting that "since both remaining bidders made it clear that I don't fit into their future plans, I approached Don Maloney and suggested he begin looking for someone to replace me as coach. The Coyotes missed the playoffs in each of Gretzky's four years as a coach, although last year, showed signs of life and were firmly in the playoff mix at the All-Star Game at the end of January. The team faded in the final third of the season, in part because of injuries to key young players; in part because of the decision to jettison expensive contracts, such as those of Olli Jokinen and Derek Morris.Curiously, Gretzky concluded by saying: "I'm confident the best is yet to come for hockey in Phoenix."

posted by tommytrump to hockey at 01:11 PM - 3 comments

Oh Great One, what took you so long???

posted by Howard_T at 04:12 PM on September 24, 2009

The Coyotes just got $8.6M more profitable less unprofitable.

posted by rocket88 at 04:15 PM on September 24, 2009

As a Flames fan, I had a natural dislike for Gretzky but it pained me to see the job that he was doing in Phoenix. As many have noted, he really never had a system in place and didn't do that great of job of developing young players, characteristics he shared with other superstars who were mediocre coaches.

That being said, I think his work with Team Canada showed him to be a shrewd talent evaluator and I wonder if he would be better in a team's front office rather than behind the bench.

posted by jc at 04:52 PM on September 24, 2009

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