The Arizona Coyotes fired general manager and executive vice president Don Maloney on Monday after nine seasons leading the NHL franchise. The Coyotes finished this season 35-39-8, out of the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Coach Dave Tippett has two years left on his current contract and is expected to return.
ESPN states that Maloney “had one of the most difficult jobs in sports, leading a team operating under the financial restraints of being owned by the NHL for four seasons. Maloney handled it better than expected, bringing in gritty, low-salaried players who fit Tippett’s defensive style of hockey.”
Arizona made the playoffs under Maloney from 2010 to 2012, peaking that last season with a trip to the conference finals, where the Coyotes were defeated 4-1 by the Los Angeles Kings who went on to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Kept on through ownership changes in both 2013 and 2014, Maloney orchestrated a rebuilding effort this past season that saw the Coyotes shed a bunch of expensive contracts while improving their points by 22. Before being hired by Arizona, Maloney was the New York Islanders GM from 1992 to 1995 and a player for the Islanders, New York Rangers and Hartford Whalers and Islanders from 1978 to 1991.
Assistant general managers John Chayka and Chris O’Hearn will run the team until a new GM is hired.