Is the NHL’s sixth-longest tenured GM about to be fired?
Per Sportsnet, yes.
That’s from Nick Kypreos, who on Monday morning tweeted a “shake-up” was coming out of Arizona, which reportedly includes Don Maloney — who’s been the club’s general manager since 2007 — being relieved of his duties.
Maloney, 57, trails only Garth Snow, Dean Lombardi, Doug Wilson, David Poile and Ken Holland on the list of longest-serving GMs. He captured the league’s General Manager of the Year award in 2010 — making him the first-ever winner — and, under his guidance, led the Coyotes to the playoffs three times, including the club’s first-ever Conference Finals appearance in 2012.
Arizona has struggled in recent years, however.
The club has failed to make the postseason four straight times and, over the weekend, reports began to surface that Maloney was in danger of losing his job.
In 2013, Maloney had signed a “long-term” extension with the Coyotes. But that contract was negotiated and inked prior to the current ownership group — led by Andrew Barroway and Anthony LeBlanc — taking control of the organization later that year.
Should Maloney ultimately be relieved of his duties, he’ll leave an interesting legacy. He presided over one of the most tumultuous franchises in league history, going several years without an owner while being constantly hamstrung by an internal (read: low) salary cap budget and incessant relocation rumors.
Despite this, he managed to procure some quality young players via the draft and trades, including prized rookies Anthony Duclair and Max Domi. In the pipeline are some tantalizing prospects, including Dylan Strome, Brendan Perlini and Nick Merkley.
Maloney also hired and basically worked in lockstep with Dave Tippett for the duration of his time in Arizona, during which Tippett emerged as one of the NHL’s most well-respected coaches.