Coyotes fire Maloney, citing need for ‘new direction’

AP
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Confirming an earlier report, the Arizona Coyotes made it official this afternoon, announcing that general manager Don Maloney has been fired.

“On behalf of our ownership group and the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, I would like to sincerely thank Don for all of his hard work and the many contributions he made to our organization during his tenure,” said club president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc in a release. “The Coyotes had some success with Don, but we believe a change in leadership is needed in order to move our franchise forward in a new direction.”

The Coyotes say the search for a new GM will begin immediately, and that one will be hired “well before” the draft in late June. They also say that analytics will be a big part of their strategy going forward, meaning any candidate will require a modern management philosophy.

The Hockey News, meanwhile, is reporting that Maloney was fired after losing a “power struggle” with head coach Dave Tippett, and also that Stars assistant GM Les Jackson is a candidate to replace Maloney.

Maloney joined the Coyotes almost a decade ago. He guided the team to three playoff appearances, including a run to the Western Conference Final in 2012, the last year they qualified for the postseason. For much of Maloney’s tenure, the franchise was in danger of relocation, and he faced financial constraints in putting a roster together.

It’s still not known where the club will call home in the near future, though a move out of the Phoenix area seems less likely today than in previous years