Glen Sather, the architect of the Oilers' five Stanley Cup championship teams from 1984-90, resigned Friday night as president and general manager.
"I don't wish this franchise any bad luck," Sather said during a news conference at Skyreach Centre. "It's the first time since I've been 16 years old that I've been unemployed.
"This hasn't been a quick decision, but it's something that I had to do. I never contemplated leaving this organization. I thought I'd retire here. But things change."
Sather, 56, who joined the Oilers as a player in 1976 and became general manager in 1979, reportedly has been targeted by the Rangers and Coyotes.
"There is no job offer on the table," said Sather, who was under contract at $2-million annually for the next two years.
"Whether there was tampering, we suspect there was," board chairman Cal Nichols said. "We're going to pursue that on an informal basis with the commissioner."
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman refused comment.
Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1997, Sather has not been happy with the team's ownership group in recent months. He has had problems with Nichols, whose group took over the team in 1998.
"It's a clashing of strong personalities," Sather said. "If this is a mistake, then I'll live with it."
RICHARD MAY HAVE ALZHEIMER'S: Hockey great Maurice Richard might be facing a triple scourge of cancer, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Jean Roy, agent for the 78-year-old former Canadiens star, said doctors in Montreal suspect Alzheimer's may have set in.
Richard, who was taking medication to control abdominal cancer and Parkinson's, entered the hospital Monday amid fears the cancer had returned. Maurice Richard Jr., the Rocket's oldest son, said a new tumor had been found, but Roy said doctors needed more tests.
Richard entered the hospital to try to discover why his health has deteriorated in recent months.
Richard scored 544 goals in the 1940s and 1950s and won eight Stanley Cups with the Canadiens.