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Gretzky confirms Coyotes in trouble MATTHEW SEKERES January 16, 2009 VANCOUVER -- Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky confirmed yesterday that the troubled NHL franchise requires financial assistance and is seeking an investor who could help keep the team in Arizona. The Coyotes could lose as much as $45-million (all currency U.S.) this season, including interest payments, and owner Jerry Moyes is looking for a partner. He also is speaking to city officials in Glendale about the lease arrangement at the community-owned Jobing.com Arena. Yesterday, when Gretzky was asked whether the owner could continue to operate the club, given its losses, he deferred queries to Moyes. But Gretzky, the club's coach and managing partner, also signalled that Moyes requires investment in the franchise and financial relief from the city of Glendale. "I don't think it is any big secret that Mr. Moyes has asked for new partners or investors," Gretzky said. "Mr. Moyes is doing the best he can in working with the city and city officials. Our responsibility is to come, show up and play, and play the best we can." Since The Globe and Mail began documenting the Coyotes' economic woes last month, no one from the club's management had confirmed that it was seeking financial help. A TSN report on Wednesday said that as much as 80 per cent of the team is expected to be sold in the next two months, and that Moyes would retain as much as 20 per cent. Barring a sale, the club could be forced into bankruptcy proceedings. It is possible the Coyotes could be disbanded or moved out of Phoenix before next season. The Coyotes entered a game against the Vancouver Canucks last night in seventh place, a playoff spot, in the Western Conference. The team is trying to snap a seven-year postseason drought behind a youth movement that features seven players who are 22 or younger. "The older players definitely don't let [the financial trouble] be a distraction, but the younger players don't understand it, maybe," said defenceman Derek Morris, the team's union representative. "We realize that things aren't good, but they are still treating us first-class here. They're allowing us to play hockey."