PITTSBURGH — Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney woke up on Friday to an explosion … on the Internet.
The hockey world was buzzing over news that Keith Yandle, the Coyotes' high-scoring defenseman, could be moved at the NHL Draft this weekend.
"I woke up this morning and saw all of these websites and I thought, 'Gee, I wish someone would call me and tell me what the deal is,'" said Maloney.
He said after Friday's Draft in Pittsburgh that nothing was "imminent" as far as moving Yandle. In fact, he's not shopping the 25-year-old defenseman. But he is listening.
"Keith Yandle is an assistant captain. He's a very important player for us. We have no desire to move our good players. But it's naïve to think we're not going to listen," Maloney said.
"We just listened. But all you have to do is look at our system and see the great young defensemen we have coming. If someone offers you some good young forwards, you have to listen."
Yandle had 43 points in 82 games last season, with nine more in 18 playoff games for the Coyotes. He's two years removed from a 59-point campaign, when he averaged 24:23 TOI per game. He's signed through 2016 with a $5.25 million cap hit.
"He's one of the top young defensemen in the league, and he's going to get 50 points in a bad year. He's a core guy for us," Maloney said. "But I can't say unequivocally we're not going to answer the phone if somebody calls on him, and one of the calls of him gave us something to mull."
Maloney said it would take an offer that he couldn't refuse for him to move Yandle.
"It would take something very special. I've told his agents, 'If we ever do a deal with Keith Yandle, we're going to tell you and you're going to say 'I get that,''" he said.
Along with fielding offers for Yandle, Maloney is trying to retain the services of his captain Shane Doan, who is an unrestricted free agent. But there's one major obstacle in the way of a deal: The fact that the NHL still owns the Coyotes.
"Shane Doan is a guy we're having regular contact with. The uncertainty of the ownership right now is playing a factor. I have no question we'll get a deal done. It's just a matter of getting us settled and making sure we'll be in Phoenix forever and ever," said Maloney.
Former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison is trying to purchase the Coyotes. His group, the city of Glendale and the NHL have been attempting to close the sale for several weeks, but continue to face some significant hindrances.
Maloney said he doesn't believe Doan will sign before the ownership situation is settled.
"I don't blame him. We're all optimistic. If you're Shane Doan, would you sign?" said Maloney, before going into an impression of Doan: 'I'm signing for where? And what language do I have to speak?'
"He wants to be back," said Maloney, "but he wants to be back in Phoenix."