About two weeks ago the Arizona Coyotes fired their General Manager Don Maloney after nine seasons. Fans had mixed reactions but most were a bit shocked despite the Coyotes missing the playoffs for the past four seasons. Maloney was responsible for many trades that benefited the Coyotes and drafted much of the up and coming talent. He had a tough job. The deck was stacked against him after the FOG (friends of Gretzky era), the bankruptcy and NHL ownership. Overall, fans appreciate all Maloney has done for this team.
The Coyotes were looking to shake up the leadership and breathe new life into the franchise. The Coyotes seem to be moving into a more analytical philosophy, much like the Oakland A’s of Moneyball fame. The new GM will benefit from all the moves Maloney has made over the past nine years. Hopefully, the new GM won’t feel the need to come in and make a statement. The Coyotes finally seem to be on the right path, best not to come in and blow it up.
“There’s more to it in our minds than the hiring of a GM,” said LeBlanc. “It’s how is the entire department’s going to be structured, and that’s really what we’re focusing on.
“I’m not saying the owners are going to come in and say, ‘Make this trade. Assign this guy. But I think it’s fair to say we want to hear more of what’s going on.” – From Sportsnet
A decision may be announced in the next week or two. It appears the leading candidate is Les Jackson, currently the assistant GM in Dallas. The Coyotes have requested permission to speak with him. Jackson’s time with the Stars dates back to their time in Minnesota. He was in Dallas when Tippett was. Tippett has brought over a few players he’s worked with and probably will have some say in this decision. It would not be surprising to bring in someone that has worked with Tippett.
The next couple of weeks should give a good indication of where the Coyotes are headed. It feels like they are going for a mix of intangibles and analytics. Will it lead the Coyotes to a Stanley Cup win? Maybe, maybe not. Only time will tell and we just have to put out faith in the owners and management.