Dave Tippett has spoken, offering insight into why he felt it was time for him and the Arizona Coyotes to go their separate ways.
The move comes just days after it was revealed the Coyotes, based on a decision from owner Andrew Barroway, would not be bringing back Shane Doan, the team’s captain since 2003 and an original member of the franchise from its days in Winnipeg prior to relocation.
That decision, it can certainly be argued, was one that needed to be made. Doan is in his 40s, had a down season and was a pending unrestricted free agent. But the manner in which the situation was handled has garnered criticism from many.
In conversation with the Arizona Republic, Tippett reiterated one particular theme for Thursday’s decision. He mentioned a number of issues — ownership, arena, etc. — that have plagued the franchise over the years and that a change was necessary.
“It’s been a long go here trying to keep things going, and now with the change of ownership again – or change of direction again – the instability of the rink and stuff, it just seemed like the right time for them and for me,” Tippett said. “There’s nothing I could put my finger on. Just time for a change.”
“You feel it’s time for a change,” Tippett said. “I feel like I needed a change now. Seemed like the right time with ownership changing and Doaner and Smitty – not that those are excuses. But just a lot of things built up and just time to try something new.”
This season seemed to be particularly frustrating for Tippett. With the Coyotes going through a well-known youth movement, their coach was, on a number of occasions, critical of certain performances and team problems throughout the year. Arizona finished 28th in the overall standings with 30 wins and 70 points.
In May 2016, Tippett signed a five-year contract extension and was named executive vice-president of hockey operations.