Wayne Gretzky took an indefinite leave as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night to return to Canada to be with his mother, who has lung cancer.
Gretzky left the team before the Coyotes played the Kings in Los Angeles and went to Ontario to be with his parents, Phyllis and Walter.
“We respect and support Wayne’s decision,” Coyotes general manager Michael Barnett said in a statement. “Family has always come first to the Gretzkys, as it should. The thoughts and prayers of the Phoenix Coyotes organization, and most surely, those of the entire hockey world, are with Wayne and the Gretzky family at this most difficult time.”
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