With the future of the Phoenix Coyotes uncertain and their ownership situation in disarray, Wayne Gretzky has stepped down as head coach of the team, TSN reports.
Gretzky became a managing partner of the club in 2000 before becoming head coach in 2005. He signed a five-year contract to serve as part owner, managing partner, alternate governor and head coach at the time.
"This was a difficult decision that I've thought long and hard about," Gretzky said in a statement. "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 manger 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."
Under Gretzky, the Coyotes did not make the postseason in any of the four seasons he was coach. The team went 143-161-24 during his tenure from 2005-06 to 2008-09.
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