When Wayne Gretzky coached (well, tried to) the Phoenix Coyotes, he was compensated handsomely. And we’re talking love child of Adam Levine and Henrik Lundqvist handsome: He earned between $7-8 million per season, a good seven times the average salary for an NHL coach back in 2009.
But when the Coyotes went bankrupt, Gretzky resigned as head coach, after taking over in 2005 when he was also an owner and managing partner for the team.
The NHL eventually took over the franchise, but the money owed Gretzky by former owner Jerry Moyes wasn’t reimbursed. The NHL Board of Governors felt the salary was absurd, and as the 29 owners of the Coyotes, they didn’t want to ante up.
This alienated Gretzky, who otherwise should be an ambassador of the NHL during its surge in popularity. This also led to widespread criticism of the NHL for that alienation, which was akin to NASA alienating Neil Armstrong.
Well, let the healing begin: Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reports that Gretzky will be repaid between $7-8 million owed to him after reaching a deal with the NHL.
The NHL wanted to get that money from Moyes, but a judge threw out its suit against the former owner, according to LeBrun. So the NHL BOG approved a measure that would pay the Great One.
(Wonder if the eleventy-seventy billion dollars coming in from Rogers over the next 12 years helped?)
Congrats to Gretzky for getting his millions, and to the NHL for finally thawing this chilly relationship. It'll be great to write about something "Gretzky" beyond Paulina's Instagram.