Wayne Gretzky Ousted As Coyotes Coach – A Sad Day for Hockey

The Great One in his glory

The Great One in his glory

Wayne Gretzky, one of the greatest players in NHL history, has resigned as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, a team in the midst of a financial meltdown. While the team didn’t make the playoffs in the four years he has been part owner and coach on the ice, it seems like a particularly bad pr move.

Gretzky is just the latest great player who was not an excellent manager. Ted Williams is the classic example – he was frustrated supervising players who just weren’t as good as he was… and he had the Washington Senators to accentuate the point. But as SI, CBC and many others were quick to point out, for what he has done for the game, it was a disgraceful exit.

Gretzky didn’t seem to have that problem, but I didn’t follow the team much! Naturally, the Coyotes were plagued by poor attendance (is is a surprise there is no audience in Arizona for hockey? Hello?). They didn’t have time to turn the team around through the draft but there may not be that many great players.

I’m a Wayne Gretzky fan and would take him over the mullet-wearing John Tortorella of the Rangers, but it seems like he has improved the team with his brash vibe since taking over from the urbane Tom Renney last year.

Are there too many teams in the NHL? Should there have been a Winnpeg Jets, let alone a Phoenix Coyotes?

Thanks to Sports Illustrated for the skinny.

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