In the wake of last week’s shakeup — trading Rob Klinkhammer, waiving Kyle Chipchura, demoting David Schlemko — Arizona GM Don Maloney took a look at his roster.
While he still liked the group dynamic, he also realized that doesn’t count for much.
“We need to show hopefully small improvement, and I think it’s really our execution,” Maloney said, per the Arizona Republic. “I still think we have a top-level coaching staff. I think our team chemistry is good but what does that mean?
“We’re in a results business, not a Kumbaya business.”
The results haven’t been there lately for Arizona. The club has just two wins in its last 10 and is mired in a seven-game losing streak at home, all of which has seen the Coyotes plummet to 13th in the Western Conference. While Arizona isn’t throwing in the towel on this season and the playoffs, it does appear as though a youth movement is underway.
Which brings us to assets currently on Arizona’s roster.
On Tuesday, Maloney acknowledged that the still-pending Coyotes sale — reports of a dead deal with Andrew Barroway surfaced yesterday, only for Coyotes ownership to say everything’s still on track — have hamstrung him with regards to offering new contracts to his players.
“I don’t want to say halt the process, but slow down the process in regards to anybody we might want to talk contractually going forward,” is how Maloney described the situation.
Two of the biggest names on Arizona’s contractual front are Antoine Vermette (a pending UFA) and Keith Yandle (one year remaining on his deal). Vermette’s already at the center of trade talks; Yandle’s been in the rumor mill for a while, and could be the top defensive target at the trade deadline, should Maloney make him available.
As such, the formula seems simple: If the Coyotes don’t get the results, the group — no matter how well it gets along — will likely be broken up.