The next quest in the amazing world of Wayne Gretzky finally got underway on Saturday night, as the Phoenix Coyote coach notched his first NHL win from behind the bench. Gretzky who has of course set many a record from an NHL players bench, had to wait until his third attempt to join the win column as his NHL coaching career got underway.
With a come from behind 2-1 home ice victory over Minnesota, Gretzky can now begin the chase for Scotty Bowman's magic mark of 1,244 victories in the NHL. Though even Gretzky has admitted that the long time dean of Canadian hockey coaching, can probably sleep easy at night as his record stands ready to face all takers.
Bowman's achievements over his storied NHL career were well earned and he makes a rather worthwhile role model for any new NHL coach. But when you're talking about Gretzky your not discussing just any old coach out to make a name for himself. His years of domination of the NHL gave him a complete picture of what it takes to be a success in professional hockey, one he will try to share with his new students in the desert. He has laughingly suggested that Bowman's record is pretty safe and more than likely it is, but with the first win out of the way after three games a more relaxed Gretzky may now take his place behind the bench each night.
The student has become the teacher as they say, it will be interesting to watch his Coyotes as the season progresses. With one part awe and another respect, it may take a while to settle things down on the ice. What they chose to retain could go a long way this year to deciding if this career move for Gretzky will be a long term option or a short term lark.