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Time for Gretzky to Step Down

Cameron PaulCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2009

Wayne Gretzky will never be fired as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. That is why the only way to make a change is for him is to step down. There is no better time than now with the Coyotes losing six straight games in regulation, the longest such streak since the 1993-94 season, while they were still in Winnipeg.

When Gretzky announced that he was going to go behind the bench for the 2005-06 season, I, like most other Coyotes fans', was ecstatic. Here you have the greatest player to ever play the game behind the bench of my favorite team. There was just so much potential for greatness. Four years later, and the team has been mediocre at best.

Now that I think about it, there were a few reasons why “The Great One” was destined to fail behind the bench of the Phoenix Coyotes.

One reason is because Gretzky, being the all-time leader in points, would be always in the spotlight. He has had pressure from everyone in the media and in the fans alike. He‘s the greatest player of all-time, so why can’t he be at the least a good coach who is capable of taking a team to the playoffs? Like in many other cases were Hall of Fame hockey players go behind the bench, it just doesn’t work out.

One recent example was with the Chicago Blackhawks' Denis Savard, who was fired only four games into the current NHL season. I think this happens because there is a lack of coaching experience.

This is especially the case with Gretzky. He had no previous coaching experience. It’s hard enough to coach a young team like the Coyotes with coaching experience, never mind without.

The last reason his run as coach was meant to fail is because he took over a team that wasn’t very good to begin with. I could probably see him having more success on a better team, but then again there aren’t a lot of times when good teams are looking for coaches.

It’s not like Gretzky had a choice which team he coached, anyways, with him being part owner and head of hockey operations for the team.

The bottom line is Gretzky had his chance and he should be smart enough to know when enough is enough. There are so many good coaches out there with plenty of NHL coaching experience that Gretzky can get to replace himself.

Then just maybe they can get what is turning out to be another disappointing season and turn it into a playoff season. 

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