As troubled pro franchises in America go, it’s hard to do much worse than the Phoenix Coyotes. As we mentioned before, the franchise is bleeding money at an astonishing rate, to the point that one former NHL official said, “If I were offered the team for a dollar, I’d say no because you can’t fix it.” So yeah. You would expect the Coyotes, then, to be cutting unnecessary costs at all opportunities. And you would be dead wrong.
According to the TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL, Wayne Gretzky (Phoenix’s head coach, head of hockey operations, and part owner) pulls down an absolutely absurd yearly salary. In a league where head coaches make about $1 million a year, Gretzky has been pulling down at least $7 million a year since signing a new contract in May 2006. That is not a typo: $7
trillion (okay, that is a typo) million. The thought, according to the GLOBE AND MAIL, had been that Gretzky would sell tickets. Err:
“He doesn’t translate to one ticket sold,” a source said. “They pimped him so much, but he didn’t represent $1.”
Not only that, but the situation is only worsening. Read more…