GRETZKY RELINQUISHES COACHING DUTIES INDEFINITELY
TOCCHET ASSUMES HEAD COACH RESPONSIBILITIES
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes Managing Partner - Head Coach Wayne Gretzky announced today that he will relinquish his head coaching duties indefinitely (for family reasons) prior to tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Gretzky will be traveling to Ontario, Canada this evening to be with his mother Phyllis who is battling lung cancer. Coyotes Associate Coach Rick Tocchet will assume the Coyotes head coach responsibilities until Gretzky returns behind the bench.
"We respect and support Wayne's decision," said Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett. "Family has always come first to the Gretzky's, as it should. The thoughts and prayers of the Phoenix Coyotes organization, and most surely, those of the entire hockey world, are with Wayne and the Gretzky family at this most difficult time."
In his first season as head coach, Gretzky has led the Coyotes to a 16-14-2 record in the Western Conference. The Coyotes are tied for third place in the Pacific Division.
The Coyotes next game is on Tuesday, December 20 versus the St. Louis Blues. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Glendale Arena.