09.24.09 9 years ago 5 Comments

The most marketable face of pro hockey’s most unstable franchise is gone. Wayne Gretzky, who happens to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game, has quit as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.

“This was a difficult decision that I’ve thought long and hard about,” Gretzky said in a statement Thursday on his Web site. “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 manager 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.”

Gretzky’s replacement seems to be in hand, though no announcement has been made. And there’s a good chance that this could be it for the end of the Coyotes in Arizona, and the league-wide ramifications of the sale could be zzzzzzzzz…

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