Another inevitability will be officially announced today.
Sometime around 4:00 ET, The Phoenix Coyotes will announce that Wayne Gretzky will become their new head coach. Gretzky, who has been a managing partner and 18% owner of the Coyotes for a few seasons will retain his ownership. This has been the speculation since his retirement from the game in 1999. Rumors about this started to get serious before the lockout, and they'll finally become a reality today.
Lots of people have concerns about this. Just because he's the greatest player ever doesn't mean he'd be a good coach. Coaches are wired differently. Nobody will doubt his passion for the game or his knowledge of the game or his insight into the game, but they might doubt his ability to coach. Also what comes into question is how the players will respond. It's not far-fetched to say that the players may feel intimidated. They may get a little star-struck. I, for one, discount the "star-struck" theory, but I can see how they may be overly intimidated. Hopefully, for the Coyotes sake, they'll be able to have a more relaxed approach.
I do have some concerns though. Why push him into the Head Coach position? Why not try a season or three as an assistant? You know, to get some coaching legs.
Some people, though, will say "What about Larry Bird?", which is an excellent point. Bird was one of the greatest basketball players ever. After his retirement, he spent a few years doing absolutely nothing, and was then thrust into the Head Coach job with the Indiana Pacers. Bird had never coached, but was excited, as the team was, to have him. He actually did very well, but he inherited a VERY good team. The Great One, on the other hand will be inheriting a team that isn't good. He'll really have his work cut out for him.
I hope he does well. I hope also that Yotes fans will be patient. This team will not become a Cup contender overnight. One thing we can be sure of is that fans in the desert will be very excited about this.
5 years ago