Coyotes new regime takes ‘win-now’ approach, confident about new arena


The new-look Arizona Coyotes really cemented a series of changes with a press conference introducing new head coach Rick Tocchet and new president/CEO Steve Patterson on Thursday.

This is very much a new regime, as it was clear that owner Andrew Barroway (pictured) and GM John Chayka are the ones supplying the vision for a franchise that has often been in disarray.

About the only down note of the presser came when Barroway admitted that, while it was the right hockey move, he wished he handled the end of the Shane Doan era in a different way.

When it comes to the future of the Coyotes, and their place in Arizona, the new regime felt almost blustery. They seem quite confident about securing a new arena, something that might become easier thanks to the connections provided by Patterson.

Patterson didn’t act like this would necessarily be easy, yet he’s had experience with these high-level sports headaches, comparing getting arena deals done to surviving a “vampire movie.” (Coyotes fans and those covering the seemingly unending arena developments likely nodded their weary heads, although some might lean toward zombie movie or even a Michael Myers-style slasher flick.)

Anyway, it’s not just about the broader future.

The Coyotes also emphasized their goal to “win now,” as Barroway emphatically stated. His praise of Chayka and Tocchet, along with an off-season of moves that included landing Derek Stepan, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Antti Raanta, made it clear that management expects a significant step forward.

MORE: Tocchet’s approach to coaching the Coyotes

Even so, that arena optimism really did reverberate. Could such bold talk even resonate with (understandably) jaded Coyotes fans?

Time will tell if they can really slay that vampire.