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Gretzky out as coach in Phoenix....maybe

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Old
09-19-2009, 12:30 AM
  #101
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Originally Posted by Matzel View Post
Yes. So true.

In the end, a great coach could put a system in place that would see chimps score at will in the NHL.

Skill, experience, capabilities, depth of the roster are meaningless. Losing Sauer, Rhino, Hanzal, to name a few, did not compromise the success of this team. A decent coach would have just put a system in place that would have seen the Coyotes storm to the top of the league.

All it comes down to is the coach! Vets who don't perform up to their capabilities (cough... Jovo... cough... Bryz... cough... Morris...)? Nobody's fault but the coaches.

Doom and gloom reports about the franchise? Media writing them off and proclaiming that the team has no future in the desert? Doesn't matter with a great coach!

Youngsters suffering through sophomore slumps? Rookies running out of steam towards the end of the season? Never mattered to teams that were coached by a decent coach!

FIRE GRETZKY!
So explain what happened before last year and slumping after the all star break. Injuries weren't an excuse then. Our rookies did well (Mueller, Hanzal, Winnik etc) except for the usual rookie drop off.

You can't teach talent to talented players, but you can coach them on the fundamentals and help them stay healthy and develop chemistry with other teammates by not constantly switching the lineups, preparing them for the grind of an 82 game season, making sure they are conditioned... i could go on.

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09-19-2009, 02:20 AM
  #102
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I have been pretty neutral in this argument, but I need to state that a coaching change is definitely needed now. Why? Because with the current state of the franchise, success is needed now. Not maybe now if Gretzky improves this year, not next year as Gretzky continues his learning curve. NOW! If success is not found now, there would be no point, because the franchise will have moved on. I hate to say it because I feel that coaches in hockey are scapegoated way to frequently, but in our case, a change is desperately needed.

Just my 2 cents...

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09-19-2009, 02:57 AM
  #103
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In the end, a great coach could put a system in place that would see chimps score at will in the NHL.
You know, you're not even sort of playing Devil's Advocate or even making much sense anymore. I know you are frustrated by how often this topic comes up, but your posts have steadily degenerated over time and you have reached the point of extreme hyperbole.

You're not the only one that can see more than one problem with the Coyotes. You're not the only one that knows the team has been rebuilding. There are a lot of problems and one of them, as you point out, is a lot of young players. Quit trying to make yourself out as the only person that can see the problems that are not coaching related. It's not helping your make a point but rather alienating you from those that might just be interested in engaging in a thoughtful conversation on the point.

The point others are trying to make is not that having a bad coach is the only reason the Coyotes have been so terrible. The point is that with all of these young players and with all that is at stake, betting on a coach that has not proven to be up to the job is foolish. Only a proven coach should be trusted in this situation.

What if Gretzky is as bad as so many of us think? Where will that leave the Coyotes prospect development? Gretzky might still have some coaching potential, maybe, some day, some how. In the mean time the Coyotes just do not have the margin for error to gamble on Gretzky being the right man for the job.

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09-19-2009, 03:15 AM
  #104
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Quote:
Sports Poll
Do you want Wayne Gretzky coaching the Coyotes this season?

No 82.89%

Yes 17.11%
Total Votes: 1268


http://www.azcentral.com/sports/coyotes/

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09-19-2009, 08:39 AM
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierX
Sports Poll
Do you want Wayne Gretzky coaching the Coyotes this season?

No 82.89%

Yes 17.11%
Total Votes: 1268
The comments on the azcentral clearly identify each and every visitor as a hockey expert.

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09-19-2009, 08:41 AM
  #106
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Originally Posted by yakko View Post
You know, you're not even sort of playing Devil's Advocate or even making much sense anymore. I know you are frustrated by how often this topic comes up, but your posts have steadily degenerated over time and you have reached the point of extreme hyperbole.

You're not the only one that can see more than one problem with the Coyotes. You're not the only one that knows the team has been rebuilding. There are a lot of problems and one of them, as you point out, is a lot of young players. Quit trying to make yourself out as the only person that can see the problems that are not coaching related. It's not helping your make a point but rather alienating you from those that might just be interested in engaging in a thoughtful conversation on the point.

The point others are trying to make is not that having a bad coach is the only reason the Coyotes have been so terrible. The point is that with all of these young players and with all that is at stake, betting on a coach that has not proven to be up to the job is foolish. Only a proven coach should be trusted in this situation.

What if Gretzky is as bad as so many of us think? Where will that leave the Coyotes prospect development? Gretzky might still have some coaching potential, maybe, some day, some how. In the mean time the Coyotes just do not have the margin for error to gamble on Gretzky being the right man for the job.
Point well taken.

I guess I am (now) at he point where I realize that meaningful discussion of the topic is not possible.

For the record: I am not for bringing Gretzky back as head coach, if his contract does not survive bankruptcy. The main reason why I advocated for holding onto him, was that I was worried that he would have to be bought out by a team that has no money to waste on buyouts.

I get the feeling that some fans (posters) think this is a Stanley Cup contender with 'the right' coach. That could not be further from the truth.
There are other problems. Some of them much bigger than who's the coach.

I hope that Samuelsson will not become the new head coach. Tippett also does not make my list and while I also regarded Greg Ireland as a decent future NHL coach, I am worried since last season in San Antonio.

I think Fuhr needs to go. Not one goalie has made significant progress under his watch.

Samuelsson has been looking after the defense and probably did a decent job as an assistant. His experience is limited, just like Gretzky's.

Sulliman was responsible for special teams? Is that a fail? As brother-in-law to GMDM, does he get a pass?

I don't argue that coaching is meaningless. It has importance and the youngsters need guidance and the opportunity to improve as they go. They need to be put in situations where they can succeed to grow as players. The coaching is a piece to the puzzle, but a different coach (by himself) is not going to put this club way ahead of the curve. This team is realistically a year, or two away from achieving great things.


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09-19-2009, 10:22 AM
  #107
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The comments on the azcentral clearly identify each and every visitor as a hockey expert.
As opposed to... you?

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Old
09-19-2009, 11:13 AM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Matzel View Post
Yes. So true. [...] GRETZKY!
It was a simple and honest question - to those of you saying you'd like to keep him on staff: please explain to me what his system is, and what in the past 4 years make you think he is a good coach?

The fact is - noone knows. Nothing so far has indicated any kind of measurable success. Is it all his fault? If course not. But considering he's had 4 years to make something happen, considering tha even at $ 1.6 M / yr he's a pretty expensive coach, and considering how bad we need to make the playoffs, why on earth do you trust him for such an important job?

Again - what makes you think he's better than any of the other 29 coaches, and what is the potential negative impact of trying something new?


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09-19-2009, 11:24 AM
  #109
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I get the feeling that some fans (posters) think this is a Stanley Cup contender with 'the right' coach. That could not be further from the truth.
If anyone here actually thinks that, they don't deserve to be quoted.

Some us do wonder if we'd be closer to the playoffs with a different coach. If you look at the franchise's results for the past 4 years, why is that a preposterous question? And what's wrong with asking ourselves why we're spending $ 8 M / yr on a guys who's not on the roster, and who's obviously not bringing any ROI in terms of attendance?

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There are other problems. Some of them much bigger than who's the coach.
Yes, and I don't think any of us are arguing that point. They should all be dealt with.

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Some of them much bigger than who's the coach.
The only bigger problem (by an order of magnitude) is the ownership issue.

After that, you can put all other issues into the "why are we not winning?" bucket. DM is trying to deal with the player issue. We'll see if that works, if it doesn't he'll probably have to watch his back. Next, the head coach is the very first think that needs to be looked at.

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09-19-2009, 01:40 PM
  #110
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Originally Posted by Matzel View Post
Yes. So true.

In the end, a great coach could put a system in place that would see chimps score at will in the NHL.

Skill, experience, capabilities, depth of the roster are meaningless. Losing Sauer, Rhino, Hanzal, to name a few, did not compromise the success of this team. A decent coach would have just put a system in place that would have seen the Coyotes storm to the top of the league.

All it comes down to is the coach! Vets who don't perform up to their capabilities (cough... Jovo... cough... Bryz... cough... Morris...)? Nobody's fault but the coaches.

Doom and gloom reports about the franchise? Media writing them off and proclaiming that the team has no future in the desert? Doesn't matter with a great coach!

Youngsters suffering through sophomore slumps? Rookies running out of steam towards the end of the season? Never mattered to teams that were coached by a decent coach!

FIRE GRETZKY!
Don't blame injuries. Just don't. We had better luck than two thirds of the league in that department. Yes, I just made that number up. However, I'm willing to bet on it.

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Old
09-19-2009, 01:43 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by Matzel View Post
I get the feeling that some fans (posters) think this is a Stanley Cup contender with 'the right' coach.
Your feeling is wrong. Nobody thinks that. At most, we go from basement to bubble with the right coaching change. At most. Most of us know that.

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09-19-2009, 02:33 PM
  #112
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Your feeling is wrong. Nobody thinks that. At most, we go from basement to bubble with the right coaching change. At most. Most of us know that.
With that said, is there really a point in continuously harping about the head coaching position as if it really meant make or break?

As I stated, and most ignored, I am not advocating for TGO to remain the head coach, if the organization can chose to get a replacement without having to buy out Gretzky.

I would view that as a change for change sake. Try something new and see if the results can be improved.

IMHO, it's not a given that the team will improve significantly under a new coach. Too many other circumstances remain the same:

- bankruptcy distraction with all it's negative influence on players, the club, fans and support;
- numerous sophomores and inexperienced youngsters;
- goalies who lack consistency;
- lack of players with (current) true scoring potential at the NHL level;

For all those who constantly ask about the system TGO plays or doesn't play:
What system does the new head coach implement to improve the above listed areas significantly? Some of those have a serious impact on the team, but they can not be influenced by the coach and his system.

The areas I see improved for this year, regardless of the head coaches name:

- face offs and resulting puck possession (due to player acquisitions)
- special teams (due to player acquisitions)
- consistency (due to young players maturing physically)

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09-19-2009, 03:36 PM
  #113
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Coaches get 100% on a B/O, correct? So that'd be 1.6 for Wayne, plus the cost of his replacement. What does a brand new head coach typically make? Half that? So it's 1.6 for Wayne or 2.4 for Ireland. I don't think that extra eight hundred kay is going to kill us. Hell, we're going to have to pay Lessard, Fritz, or Downey six hundred kay.

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09-19-2009, 03:45 PM
  #114
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So it's 1.6 for Wayne or 2.4 for Ireland. I don't think that extra eight hundred kay is going to kill us. Hell, we're going to have to pay Lessard, Fritz, or Downey six hundred kay.
Actually, if Gretzky's out and his contract listed as unsecured creditor, the cost of replacing him would be $0 since it would be included in the bankruptcy purchase. By switching to a guy like Ireland we'd be saving $ 800 K.

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09-19-2009, 04:01 PM
  #115
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I guess I am (now) at he point where I realize that meaningful discussion of the topic is not possible.
Then maybe you should stop bringing it up?

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I am confident that this info will not get in the way of those continuously regurgitating that TGO was being paid $8.0mm to coach.

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09-19-2009, 05:05 PM
  #116
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Actually, if Gretzky's out and his contract listed as unsecured creditor, the cost of replacing him would be $0 since it would be included in the bankruptcy purchase. By switching to a guy like Ireland we'd be saving $ 800 K.
That's fine. If it can work out like that, I am not against a new man at the helm. Whether Ireland is really the *right* guy, I don't know.
The Rampage has made no progress season over season when you look at the past two under Ireland.

As mentioned, any coach of this franchise will have some factors going against him. Factors that he has little to no influence on.

The point is not so much that the organization owes TGO or that he is the best there is for the head coaching job. The point is that some seem to think that he is the main factor holding this team back. That, I don't believe.

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09-19-2009, 05:52 PM
  #117
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Point well taken.
I'm glad you took that well. A while after I posted it I was wondering if I was going to make things better or worse with that post.

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It was a simple and honest question - to those of you saying you'd like to keep him on staff: please explain to me what his system is
Chip it out, chip it in, chase.

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Originally Posted by Matzel View Post
With that said, is there really a point in continuously harping about the head coaching position as if it really meant make or break?
I don't know about anyone else, but my fear is that Gretzky is actually doing long term damage. For me, getting a new coach isn't about going from a basement team to a contender in one season. It is about getting a coaching staff in that can develop the young players into players that can help make the team a contender and develop offensive systems that compliment those players.

Even if the Coyotes are losing games, I would feel much better seeing individual development from the young players on the team and see them being put in a position to grow. I do not believe the chip it out, chip it in, chase the puck strategy is going to help develop kids into potent offensive players. That is the strategy you use for fourth line players that are never going to be good enough to make plays, to hide their inability. The kids with offensive potential need to play in a system that challenges them and pushes them into making plays. It might be hard for them in the short run, but it that will give them experience that will be valuable to them later. Then they need a coaching staff that can look at tape of how those players perform within that offensive system, analyze their faults and teach them how to improve, show them what to work on in order to make the players and the system incrementally more effective.

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09-19-2009, 07:18 PM
  #118
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^ What about the development of Keith Yandle? Martin Hanzal? Mikkel Boedker?

I guess I see some positives.

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09-19-2009, 08:09 PM
  #119
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^ What about the development of Keith Yandle? Martin Hanzal? Mikkel Boedker?

I guess I see some positives.
None of those players has progressed due to Gretzky. Hanzal got his D from Brent Sutter, Yandle has been a human yo-yo and has not "progressed" nearly as much as he could have under a real coach, and Boedker basically played his Kitchener game.

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09-19-2009, 08:54 PM
  #120
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None of those players has progressed due to Gretzky. Hanzal got his D from Brent Sutter, Yandle has been a human yo-yo and has not "progressed" nearly as much as he could have under a real coach, and Boedker basically played his Kitchener game.
Again... anything half decent happened even though TGO was the coach. Everything negative happened because he was the coach.

It is this type of thinking that makes me say a meaningful discussion on the topic is impossible.

What ever.

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09-19-2009, 09:57 PM
  #121
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Again... anything half decent happened even though TGO was the coach. Everything negative happened because he was the coach.

It is this type of thinking that makes me say a meaningful discussion on the topic is impossible.

What ever.
You cant have your cake and eat it too. If you want to take the extreme position that Gretzky didn't do anything wrong, or he didn't hinder players, fine. Doesn't make you even slightly correct.

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09-19-2009, 10:50 PM
  #122
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Gretzky is a great figurehead and an icon of the game. But he, like many other retired pro megastar athletes (ahemmichaeljordanahem) thought that his effortless prowess at playing the game would automatically translate into managing the game.

Now, on one level he made a fair GM when he was working with Hockey Canada and the Olympic program and so forth because getting a bunch of old friends together to manage a program like that is not that huge a deal.

But coaching a professional franchise is a much different animal, and it literally took Gretzky years to figure that out. He didn't even start showing up for all the practices until last year and basically did his coaching from golf courses and promotional junkets. The fact that he's slowly figuring out what the job really entails is something of a moot point now because he missed that critical time where he can grab the room and own it like a real coach does when he comes into a team.

Beyond that, Gretzky ran his practices the way he'd have wanted to experience them - with the idea that the players already know what to do and how to do it (like he would, of course) and therefore making them loose, unstructured, and - well, let's put it generously - relaxed. His plan of attack in games was similar. For a young team, that is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. The players essentially have to coach themselves or hope the veterans will be able to do the teaching that the coaches can't (or in Fuhr's case, won't) do.

Now, Gretzky is not the disaster that Michael Jordan is. Jordan is a horrific NBA exec and manager because his whole personality is based on his ego and the idea that he is the greatest in all things. Gretzky is not like that. He is far more humble than Jordan. But he does still have the enormous ego of the superstar no matter how mildly it is expressed - else, he would be coaching his team right now instead of jealously guarding his image and staying disconnected from the woes of his franchise.

I'd love to have Gretzky selling corporate sponsorships for this team, doing commercials, making appearances, showing up at kids' leagues for pep talks and so forth. He's a fantastic ambassador for the game. But outside of that I want nothing more to do with the guy in terms of coaching the Coyotes. As much of a mistake as it was to drop the franchise here in the first place without building a hockey culture first, it was an epic misjudgment to put Wayne in a head coaching position without him paying some dues and learning the craft.

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09-20-2009, 04:35 AM
  #123
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I may be number one in the Gretzky hate club, but you're going to have to back a lot of that up. A LOT.

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09-20-2009, 07:49 AM
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zyllyx View Post
Gretzky is a great figurehead and an icon of the game. But he, like many other retired pro megastar athletes (ahemmichaeljordanahem) thought that his effortless prowess at playing the game would automatically translate into managing the game. [...] it was an epic misjudgment to put Wayne in a head coaching position without him paying some dues and learning the craft.

Wayne Gretzky showed early that he had incredible talent when, as a nine-year-old in 1970-1971, he scored 196 goals in 76 games, with 120 assists. The next year he scored 378 goals in 82 games.

I think it is somewhat of a misconception that he did not have to do anything for becoming as good as he was.
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Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Gretzky honed his skills at a backyard rink and regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers. Despite his unimpressive stature, strength, and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled. He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players, and he could consistently anticipate where the puck was going to be and execute the right move at the right time.
While hockey instincts and a great understanding of the game were paramount for his gmae and success, he was not just blessed with those gifts.
Right from the start, practicing in the backyard rink, nicknamed "Wally Coliseum", in Brantford, Ontario, where drills included skating around Javex bleach bottles and tin cans, and flipping pucks over scattered hockey sticks to be able to pick up the puck again in full flight, Walter's advice included to "skate where the puck's going, not where it's been."
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Gretzky's basic athletic abilities were not considered impressive. He was 6ft (1.83 m) tall, weighing only 160 pounds (73 kg) as an 18-year-old NHL rookie in 1979, and 185 pounds at the end of his career in 1999. At the beginning of Gretzky's NHL career, many critics opined that Gretzky was "too small, too wiry, and too slow to be a force in the NHL."
Gretzky's skills were developed on a backyard rink at his home, with extraordinary dedication and the encouragement and teachings of his father Walter.
The notion that Gretzky's success came to him, or was somehow achieved effortless, is wrong.
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Walter's drills were his own invention, but were ahead of their time in Canada. Wayne remarked that the Soviet National Team's practice drills, which impressed Canada in 1972, had nothing to offer him: "I'd been doing these drills since I was three. My dad was very smart."

Where Wayne differed was in the extraordinary commitment of time on the ice. In his autobiography, he wrote:

"All I wanted to do in the winters was be on the ice. I'd get up in the morning, skate from 7:00 to 8:30, go to school, come home at 3:30, stay on the ice until my mom insisted I come in for dinner, eat in my skates, then go back out until 9:00. On Saturdays and Sundays we'd have huge games, but nighttime became my time. It was a sort of unwritten rule around the neighbourhood that I was to be out there myself or with my dad."

Wayne would prod next-door neighbour Brian Rizzetto to play goal after sundown to practice his backhand.
During his professional career, Gretzky was known to be the first player on the ice and the last one off the ice at practices. Often he would stay out by himself, practicing on his own to fine tune a specific area of his skill set.

Based on his attitude and personality as a player and how he became a dominant force in the game, I have a hard time believing that he never put forth the same effort as a coach. That somehow he thought that being great as a player would translate into doing less than anyone else as a coach and still have success. It doesn't make sense.

I know that he still spent considerable time in L.A. during his first year as head coach, but aside from that, I have not heard that he was too far removed from the team or practices to make them effective.

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09-20-2009, 12:18 PM
  #125
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Hindsight's 20-20. Without Gretzky, the Coyotes would not be in Phoenix. He was a very important piece in the Ellman / Moyes acquisition. When he got the coaching job, I was actually pretty excited. After all, why not trust the all-time greatest scorer to build a winner? It could have worked.

I'm personally not interested in dwelling on past decisions. I have a problem with the financial structure of his 5-year contract, but if the team was a winner today, and making a profit, his $ 8 M would not be that big of a deal. Hell, we probably wouldn't even know about it.

But it didn't happen. The only thing that matters at this point is what's best for our team's short term success. To me, putting so much trust into a guy who hasn't proven himself in 4 years is a mistake. He and most of his coaching staff need to be replaced. It's time to start fresh.

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