Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gretzky Cleans House!

1) Not surprisingly, the Phoenix Coyotes cleaned out their front office yesterday. By firing GM Mike Barnett, director of hockey operations Cliff Fletcher, and assistant GM Laurence Gilman. This after the franchise's worst season since it moved from Winnipeg in 1996. However, Wayne Gretzky, who owns a minority share of the team and is its managing partner, will for some reason return for a third season as head coach next fall.
2) The Coyotes finished last in the Western Conference for the first time since the franchise came to Arizona, and their 67 points were the team's fewest since that move. Phoenix amazingly hasn't made the playoffs since 2002.
3) Barnett, Wayne Gretzky's close friend and his agent for 21 years, had just signed a four-year contract extension before this past season. He had been GM since 2001, when Gretzky joined the organization as the managing partner. Said The Great One:"This is probably one of the harder days of my life," "Mike Barnett's meant more to me than probably anybody other than my father."
4) Many have suggested that Wayne will step aside from coaching and assume the GM position himself. However, it is also possible TGO will assume both titles. We feel this is VERY unlikely. Even one with such an inflated ego like Gretzky, knows that having so many duties and doing them well is simply not possible in this day and age
5) If Wayne and the Phoenix organization were smart (They appear to not be!) He would:
  • Step aside from ALL but his 'managing partner' duties.
  • Hire a full time GM
  • Bring in a head coach like former Habs/Leafs/Devils head coach Pat Burns to kick some butt

6) This will NOT happen because Wayne, as mentioned, has a huge ego, and if he steps aside/down it would admit defeat/he couldn't cut it. We feel despite his success in the Olympics in 2002 (Canada should have won in 2006!) He is NOT a good coach nor has the ability to be a GM. He should take Mario Lemieux's lead and be a well paid figure head. Enjoy retirement Wayne, and let the REAL hockey executives make the decisions!


jmol2112 said...

The Coyotes have a strange set up. The coach will have more power than the GM. I think thats one of their problems.
Anyone who takes over as the new GM will always be looking over his shoulder.(The new GM may want to talk with Garth Snow of the Islanders to see how he manages under a bizzare system)

B_Washington said...

I am really discouraged by the Coyotes. They seemed like they were on the verge of really breaking out in that market and showing an NHL franchise can really succeed in a warm weather climate. I had high hopes for them.

Now they have become the punchline of the NHL. They are in worse shape than all the teams that finished below them (yes even Philly) and their orginization is in shambles. Worse they can't fire the right people.

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