Wayne Gretzky quits as coach in Phoenix

Wayne Gretzky steps down as Phoenix Coyotes head coach and director of hockey operations.

FILE - In this Sept. 20

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Wayne Gretzky is stepping down as head coach and director of hockey operations of the beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes.

Gretzky, who is also the team’s managing partner, says in a statement on his website that it’s time to move on.

He says he had hoped the Coyotes bankruptcy proceedings would have been finished by now. The decision is taking longer than expected, however.

Gretzky said: “Since both remaining bidders have made it clear that I don’t fit into their future plans, I approached general manager Don Maloney and suggested he begin looking for someone to replace me as coach.”

The Coyotes hired Dave King as assistant coach recently to help interim coach Ulf Samuelsson.

Gretzky has stayed away from the team during the bankruptcy court battle between the team, the NHL and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie.

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