Wayne Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer, will be the new coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, the Arizona Republic reported on its Web site yesterday.
Gretzky, the team's managing partner, is expected to be introduced as coach today, multiple NHL sources told the paper.
Team spokesman Rich Nairn told the Associated Press he could not confirm the story. He said the team had no events scheduled for today.
There had been speculation for several months that Gretzky would move from the Coyotes' front office to their bench. But the nine-time most valuable player had said he would wait until a new collective bargaining agreement was in place before deciding whether to coach.
* SWIMMING: Kate Ziegler led all the way in winning the 1,500-meter freestyle by 101/2 seconds on the last night of the U.S. Summer Nationals in Irvine, Calif.
Ziegler, a 17-year-old from Great Falls, finished the mile in 16 minutes 14.52 seconds for her second title of the week. She won the 800 free and was second in the 400 free.
Kelsey Ditto of Austin chased Ziegler throughout the grueling race and was second in 16:24.84.
Meantime, Michael Phelps turned up in an unusual spot -- swimming the leadoff backstroke leg for Club Wolverine's 'B' team in the 400 medley relay.
Phelps had the fastest opening 100 split of 55.14, but he, Grant Burtch, Davis Tarwater and Klete Keller finished fourth.
Club Wolverine's 'A' team of Chris DeJong, Andrew Albright, Ben Michaelson and Peter Vanderkaay was third. But the teams combined to earn 62 points in the final, giving them the men's team title with 399 points.
The race was won by the quartet of Gerhard Zandberg, Marcus Titus, Roland Schoeman and Adam Ritter in 3:42.23.
* VOLLEYBALL: The United States stunned Brazil to win the America's Cup of volleyball, 3-2, in a five-set marathon in the southern Brazilian city of Sao Leopoldo.
It was the first loss since the 2003 Pan American Games for the Brazilian men's team, the defending Olympic and World League champions.
* BASKETBALL: In Mar Del Plata, Argentina, Allan Ray of Villanova went 5 for 5 from three-point range and scored 20 points to lead the United States to a 94-79 victory over Puerto Rico in the preliminary round of the men's under 21-world championships.
* HORSE RACING: Trainer Bob Baffert won the $1 million Haskell Invitational for the third time in five years when Roman Ruler took the lead from Sun King in the stretch and ran off to a 11/4-length victory in the showcase event at Monmouth Park.
* TENNIS: Mary Pierce routed Ai Sugiyama, 6-0, 6-3, in the final of the Acura Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., to win her first tournament in more than a year.
-- From News Services