Various sources (Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie, Elliotte Friedman) have all confirmed that the Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with General Manager Don Maloney. Sarah McLellan of azcentral.com has also confirmed that co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc will hold a press conference at 12:30 today Arizona time to announce the personnel change.
When it All Began
Maloney began his career as the Coyotes' GM in 2007, and won the coveted GM of the Year Award in 2010. His contract was renewed for an unspecified term in 2013. Head Coach Dave Tippett has two years remaining on his contract, and per Sarah McLellan, is not being considered for the GM opening.
Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted that the Yotes are planning on going in an analytics direction, although Maloney's replacement will likely have experience in management. The team hired Assistant General Manager of Analytics, John Chayka in August of 2015.
Bob McKenzie of TSN also tweeted that Arizona will go outside to hire a new GM, and has some candidates in mind, but decision still weeks away with Tippett likely involved in process. What it will involve, more than likely, is that Tippett will have an increased role in personnel decisions, per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
Maloney hung in there as GM through all the turmoil the Coyotes' franchise endured. The team was rumored during various occasions to be a candidate for re-location. Then, he had to deal with the City of Glendale cancelling the team's lease with Gila River Arena.
He worked with a limited budget, kept the team together with masking tape and chicken wire, but in the end results are all that matters in any business. And, yes...the NHL is a business. The players know it, the coaches know it, and the general managers know it.
He had some success, especially in guiding the team to the playoffs three straight seasons, and going to the Western Conference Finals in the 2011-12 season. As usual, it's what have you done for me lately which guides decisions on retaining or parting ways with GM's.
It's not certain if reports are correct that there was a 'power struggle' taking place between Tippett and Maloney, but it is reported that the team will give Tippett more control over player personnel moves, similar to the role which Colorado Avalanche GM Patrick Roy performs as VP of Hockey Operations.
The replacement for Maloney will have a ton of work to accomplish, since there are only nine players signed to contracts, and the NHL Entry Draft will be in three short months.
The Coyotes have 13 Unrestricted Free Agents, and 16 Restricted Free Agents on their roster, including players in their farm system.
So, not only will the team have some new faces, it will also have a new General Manager.
Gee, could Sean Burke be interested?