Skip to content

Gretzky turns down offer to coach Canada at Spengler Cup

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Wayne Gretzky turned down an offer to coach Team Canada at this year's Spengler Cup after general manager Sean Burke courted him for the position, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

LeBrun had reported Tuesday that Gretzky viewed the offer from Burke as an honor but needed time to mull it over.

"It was a nice surprise when Sean called," Gretzky told LeBrun. "I thanked him. I was excited about it. Team Canada is pretty special. I think the Spengler Cup is the oldest tournament that we know of. It's a pretty nice honor. I told him I needed some time. The only problem for me is that it's over Christmastime. It's a tough decision to make."

Gretzky has never coached at the international level, but he did build the victorious Canadian teams at the 2002 Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He also coached the Arizona Coyotes for four seasons, accumulating a 143-161-24 record before stepping down.

This year's Spengler Cup will run from Dec. 26-31 in Davos, Switzerland.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox