The Great One’s Future is Cloudy

May 19, 2009 at 9:58 am by Terez in Wayne Gretzky

Terez, I am the NHL, ya know...

Terez, I am the NHL, ya know...

Wayne Gretzky almost certainly will be out as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, should the National Hockey League defeat BlackBerry king Jim Balsillie in an Arizona bankruptcy court today. One of the apparent conditions of sports magnate Jerry Reinsdorf’s lowball offer to purchase the bankrupt Coyotes is to end the onerous multimillion-dollar relationship with The Great One. Gretzky is set to earn $6.5 million US this coming season and $8 million the following season — and Reinsdorf wants nothing to do with paying a coach five or six times the league average coaching salary. Gretzky’s original salary was partially paid to coach, partially to secure his ownership stake in the Coyotes franchise. Should Balsillie win his bid today, Gretzky will be owed some $22.5 million from the deal. Should Reinsdorf end up with the team, it is unknown how well he’ll make out. — Toronto Sun

The Great One needs to be a part of the NHL, period. -TO