As Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman prepares to make some tough calls in regards to the 2010 Olympic hockey team, there is one that he will not have to make.
The Calgary Herald is reporting that Phoenix Coyotes' coach Wayne Gretzky wants no part of the 2010 Olympic experience.
Speaking to reporters Saturday at the Jobing.com Arena, Gretzky stated that he had no interest being a head coach or even an assistant.
“I don't know how many times I can say this,” Gretzky told reporters. “I'm not involved. I don't plan on being involved. I really enjoyed my time with Team Canada. I think it's a privilege to be part of Team Canada. It was a great honour for me. And I loved it.
"But I really felt stepping aside and having a new regime take over - a fresh start heading into Vancouver - was the best for Canada."
There had been plenty of speculation that Gretzky could be added to Team Canada's coaching staff as the team attempts to rebound from an embarrassing performance at the Torino games in 2006. Despite helping lead Canada to gold in 2002 in Salt Lake, the “Great One” stated that he would use next year's Olympic break to rest. He says he believes that even in his absence, Canada will not be lacking in suitable candidates.
"From Alain Vigneault to Mike Keenan to Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien, Guy Carbonneau, Lindy Ruff and, of course, Mike Babcock, there's a lot of quality coaches out there that group can choose from. I'm sure they're going to choose the best guy, and the right guy."