The Great One on the Way Out?

GoucheCorrespondent IMay 22, 2009

DETROIT - FEBRUARY 4:  Head Coach Wayne Gretzky of the Phoenix Coyotes looks on from the bench area during the NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on February 4, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 5-4.  (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

It’s hard to imagine that if current Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf ends up purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes, that he wouldn’t want hockey’s all-time points leader in Wayne Gretzky returning for a fifth year behind the bench.

Gretzky, who scored 2,857 points in his illustrious playing career and is great for drawing people to games, has never led the Coyotes to the postseason.

A source from the Toronto Sun claimed that if Reinsdorf does acquire the financially unstable Coyotes, he doesn’t want Gretzky because he is on the books to be paid $6.5 million next year and an astonishing $8 million for the 2010-11 season.

That same source claimed that Reinsdorf refuses to pay a coach—even if it is Gretzky—a salary that is more than five times greater than the league average for a coach.

The financial numbers of Reinsdorf’s offer were not revealed to the Sun, but it’s almost certain to be much smaller than Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie’s offer of $212.5 million to purchase ownership and move the team to Ontario.

Even though there is a great chance that it could mean the end of his day’s behind the bench, Gretzky has—according to sources—supported Reinsdorf’s bid to buy the team.