The Arizona Coyotes put an emphasis on NHL experience over promising prospects when crafting their opening game roster because, as Coyotes GM Don Maloney put it in October, “We need to be a playoff team.” They weren’t even close to that and it might cost them this summer.
“I can’t see myself doing that again,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told Fox Sports Arizona. “Losing kills you enough, but when you’re not as competitive as you need to be, that’s even more frustrating.”
He might not have to put up with it. While he does have three years left on his contract, he also reportedly has two different out clauses. If true, he has the option to leave should the club relocate or, more relevant to this, if the Coyotes change ownership. In other words, he might have the option to walk away because Andrew Barroway bought a majority stake in the team. That being said, Fox Sports Arizona cautioned that the clause’s details aren’t clear and it’s not known for certain if he can truly get out of the contract.
Either way, Tippett wants this organization to live up to a certain standard.
“My belief is that you should try to make the playoffs every year,” he said. “It would be my recommendation that we do whatever we can to try to make the playoffs next year. Whether that’s realistic with budgets, philosophy; those are things that will have to be worked out.”
All that being said, by finishing 29th in the league, the Coyotes might end up being able to draft Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel depending on how the lottery goes. Getting either of them has the potential to go a long way towards reversing the Coyotes’ fortunes.