Wayne Gretzky resigned as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes today. This is yet another example of a great player not being able to become a great coach, and to be fair to the Great One, he wasn’t even a mediocre coach. Granted a lot of his failures as a coach stemmed from the team he was coaching, and the organization he was trying to lead. However a lot of the Coyotes problems fall squarely on the shoulders of Gretzky. He resigned saying he didn’t fit in with the bidders that are still vying for control of this franchise, but he has also been a no show at Coyotes training camp.
Gretzky has been the head coach of the Coyotes for the past four years. In that time they have compiled a record of 143-161-24, and failed to make the playoffs each of those years. Quite simply that is not good enough, and it is a major reason that the Coyotes have lost so much money, and are a bankrupt organization.
To be fair Gretzky has tried to develop a core of young players for the Coyotes, those efforts never lead to a significant talent upgrade for this team, and since Gretzky was also the Director of Hockey Operation he should be blamed for those failures. Since Gretzky has been the managing partner in this team since 2000 and part owner how much of the Coyotes failure is his fault may be debatable.
In his tenure as Coach, Gretzky has tried to develop such players as; Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzai, Keith Yandle, and Kyle Turris. Gretzky paired these youngsters with veterans such as Captain Shane Doan, Defenseman Ed Jovanowski and Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. To date these roster moves have yet to give the Coyotes any sustained success.