The Phoenix Coyotes have an opening for a new assistant general manager, but they’re in no hurry to fill it.
With Brad Treliving off to Calgary to be the Flames new general manager there, Coyotes GM Don Maloney said he isn’t eager to hire someone new as Dave Vest at the Coyotes site writes.
“I don’t feel any urgency to fill the position immediately,” Maloney said. “We have some very good people internally whose roles will be expanded… In the meantime, I’m mulling over what we really need for that position to move forward.”
Maloney said they may not hire someone to work directly under him but may opt to have more people working in the field to give them more eyes elsewhere to find talent.
Treliving had been Maloney’s assistant since 2003 and losing anyone after having them for 11 years is a substantial loss. For Maloney, he’s got one less set of eyes to examine talent and instead of having Treliving working for him, he’s working against him in Calgary.
This offseason is an important one for the Coyotes after missing the postseason the past two seasons. They’re eager to add scoring talent to their top-six forwards, something Maloney has been trying to do since last summer.
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.
There’s another Raffl in the NHL.
On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.
Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.
“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.
With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.
For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.