Two prominent NHL insiders have weighed in on the future of head coach Dave Tippett in Arizona, with neither sounding particularly bullish he’ll be back behind the Coyotes’ bench next season.
Writes ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun: “Does Dave Tippett stay with the Arizona Coyotes? He’s under contract for three more seasons and loves the Phoenix area where he’s built a home, but I don’t think he’s interested in a long, long rebuild. He needs to know that the plan is to win sooner rather than later. At least that’s my sense. If he somehow became free, he’d be in high demand. But perhaps he stays put.”
And here’s TSN’s Darren Dreger, today on TSN 1200 radio in Ottawa (audio): “The last time I spoke to someone close to Dave Tippett, which wasn’t that long ago, the message I got back was Dave and his wife are going to meet at the end of the season and they’re going to consider what’s best for their future. Now I don’t believe that anyone has come out and confirmed that Dave Tippett has an out in his contract. We know that he has term remaining on his contract. So until that happens it’s all very speculative, but if Dave Tippett and his wife are meeting, are going to discuss their future at the end of the year, that sounds to be like he’s got an out in his deal. If he has an out, I’d be surprised if he didn’t exercise it because I can’t imagine that Dave Tippett signed his contract extension again knowing that he was going to face a rebuild.”
Tippett signed a five-year contract extension in June of 2013. But that was before the Coyotes once again changed majority owners and embarked on an aggressive rebuild, with the understanding there’d be “some suffering involved” for the good of the long-term future.
In that way, Tippett’s situation is a lot like captain Shane Doan’s.
We’ll have to wait and see if either will be back next season.