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It’s firing season in the NHL now that the regular season has concluded. The first team to make a move? The Arizona Coyotes.
The team has relieved general manager Don Maloney of his duties after nine seasons, leaving assistant GMs John Chayka and Chris O’Hearn to run the show while the search for a replacement begins.
From the Coyotes:
“On behalf of our ownership group and the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, I would like to sincerely thank Don for all of his hard work and the many contributions he made to our organization during his tenure,” said Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc. “The Coyotes had some success with Don, but we believe a change in leadership is needed in order to move our franchise forward in a new direction.”
Maloney was hired in 2007 and guided the team through its turbulent off-the-ice issues while qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs three years in a row, including a Western Conference Final appearance in 2012.
Following four straight early summers, Maloney and his scouting staff have helped stock the cupboard with young talent. From Max Domi and Anthony Duclair (who Maloney acquired for Keith Yandle) to Christian Dvorak and Dylan Strome, among others, the Coyotes future on the ice looks to be very bright.
Head coach Dave Tippett, who has two years left on his deal, decided against exercise an out clause in his contract to leave the organization, according to Elliotte Friedman. According to reports, the Coyotes will give him more control over player personnel, kind of like the setup the Colorado Avalanche have with Patrick Roy, who is also VP of Hockey Operations. It’s also expected that with a bigger approach toward analytics Chayka will assume a larger role.
Whoever takes over for Maloney will also have a very busy summer ahead with a slew of UFA and RFA decisions.
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