Gretzky has not said no to ... nor has he said yes, if and when the NHL labor dispute resolves itself. In June, Mike Barnett, General Manager of the Phoenix Coyotes asked Gretzky, who also is pa
Gretzky has not said no to coaching, nor has he said yes, if and when the NHL labor dispute resolves itself. In June, Mike Barnett, General Manager of the Phoenix Coyotes asked Gretzky, who also is part owner, about coaching the Phoenix Coyotes.
Gretzky said, in an interview with the Canadian Press, ďat this point in time, itís not something thatís very high on my priority list or something that Iíve thought a lot about other than to say I havenít officially turned it down.Ē
Did Gretzky himself actually get caught up in a fever during Team Canadaís World Cup run or it is something that everyone speculates he will do. Most people agree that Gretzky has an outstanding reputation as a winner in the hockey players circle, but does he want to tarnish that reputation in attempting to coach a questionably talented hockey team and leave himself open to criticism.
As far as the NHL lockout is concerned, Gretzky said, ďEverybodyís frustrated. I feel bad for everyone, from coaches and managers to owners and players, and mostly importantly the fans. Right now it looks very bleak. It doesnít look very good.Ē
The rumor mill suggests that the NHL will use replacement players next fall if a resolution to the lockout is not reached. This is something that Gretzky flatly denies. Most General Managers, according to Gretzky, want this settled and everyone to get back to work.
Critics say that if the NHL lockout goes more than one year, it will have a devastating blow especially to southern American hockey markets, such as Phoenix, whose fan base is not so strong. Will those remaining die-hard fans return once the lockout is resolved? Some say yes. Others are not so sure. One thing is for certain; it will take strong, competitive teams to win back fan loyalty across the league once NHL hockey resumes.