Gretzky leaving the Coyotes: 99 Done in Desert: Gretzky announced that he was stepping down as the Coyotes' coach, effective immediately. In a statement he released on his own website, Gretzky.com, the Great One said he thought "long and hard" about his decision and had hoped for an earlier resolution to the Coyotes' ongoing ownership woes. However, Gretzky said he was able to read the writing on the wall, noting that "since both remaining bidders made it clear that I don't fit into their future plans, I approached Don Maloney and suggested he begin looking for someone to replace me as coach. The Coyotes missed the playoffs in each of Gretzky's four years as a coach, although last year, showed signs of life and were firmly in the playoff mix at the All-Star Game at the end of January. The team faded in the final third of the season, in part because of injuries to key young players; in part because of the decision to jettison expensive contracts, such as those of Olli Jokinen and Derek Morris.Curiously, Gretzky concluded by saying: "I'm confident the best is yet to come for hockey in Phoenix."