While skeptics quietly shook their heads when the greatest player in the history of the game decided to be a coach, Gretzky merely wonders why he didn’t do it years ago.
In the face of widespread skepticism from many — including close friends, other coaches and the media — Coach Gretzky has followed the same other-worldly career arc that defined him as a player. In a matter of months, Gretzky has achieved what it takes many coaches years to achieve. He has assembled a highly motivated coaching staff to which he freely delegates authority, while at the same time leaving no doubt as to who represents the last word on each and every decision affecting the Phoenix Coyotes.
Dominic Moore found himself facing Bertuzzi on several shifts in the Rangers Canucks game yesterday. At one point, Moore flattened Bertuzzi in open ice early in the first period during the Canucks’ first power play.
It was the first meeting between Moore and Bertuzzi, who attacked Moore’s older brother Steve in a game between the Canucks and the Avalanche on March 8, 2004, in Vancouver.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sergei Fedorov will not play for Russia in the Turin Olympics.
Fedorov, a six-time NHL All-Star who turned 36 on Tuesday, said he needed the time to recuperate from a nagging groin injury and to adapt to his new team.
“I don’t think it is appropriate to delay my decision about the Olympics any further,” Fedorov said in a statement released through IMG, which handles his business affairs. “As much as I would enjoy representing my country in Italy, I’m afraid that at this point in the season my focus has to remain with the Columbus Blue Jackets.”
Vancouver Canucks goalie Dan Cloutier will miss at least the rest of the regular season because of a knee injury that will require surgery. The Canucks have recalled goaltender Maxime Ouellet from the AHL to serve as the back up to Alex Auld. General manager Dave Nonis said the Canucks have confidence in Auld and Ouellet and are not yet in the market for a more established NHL goalie.
The civil war within the NHL Players’ Association went to a new level of nastiness on Tuesday in Chicago, where certified agents representing NHL players got together for two separate but stormy meetings which involved some bitter and angry exchanges.