GLENDALE – For the first time in 10 years, the Arizona Coyotes are in the market for a new general manager.
It’s the end of an era with Don Maloney relieved of his duties Monday. During his nine-year tenure, the Coyotes made the playoffs three times, but have not been back since 2011.
“Ownership is completely committed to winning and winning long term here in Arizona,” Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said Monday. “Today was the first step in moving us to the next phase as an organization.”
An interim general manager will not be named, but LeBlanc said a new GM will be in place before this June’s entry-level draft. In the meantime, assistant general managers Chris O’Hearn and John Chayka will take over the hockey operations.
LeBlanc said the Coyotes have looked to their neighbors across the street, the Arizona Cardinals, as a model of how ownership, management, coaches and the team itself interact with each other to guide decisions.
“This is about a few key points moving forward,” LeBlanc said. “Collaboration, communication, and the modernization of our entire processes.”
That meant a new leader in the front office.
“Essentially, it is fair to say that there has been a difference in philosophy (with Maloney),” LeBlanc said. “In regards to the overall philosophy of how the ownership group would like to manage the operation moving forward. This isn’t to say that one is right or wrong.”
LeBlanc also denied rumors that head coach Dave Tippett would assume the general manager’s role in addition to his coaching duties.
Maloney was named general manager in May 2007 and was honored as the NHL’s first-ever recipient of the General Manager of the Year in 2010. In the 2011-12 season, the Coyotes won their first playoff series since moving to Phoenix in 1996 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.