NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.
Since 2009, the partnership of coach Dave Tippett and general manager Don Maloney has made the Phoenix Coyotes among the NHL's most consistent teams. But in a lockout-shortened season that did not afford them much of a training camp, the Coyotes struggled out of the gate and failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since Tippett arrived.
With a full training camp to work with entering an 82-game schedule, Tippett has made it clear Phoenix has every intention of returning to the postseason.
"I've already had a good discussion with some of our players that missing the playoffs for this organization is unacceptable," Tippett told NHL.com. "Even though it was a shortened season and there were some outside factors involved, we're not a team that wants to make excuses. We want to get back into the playoffs. That will be our goal going into the start of the year."
The Coyotes will rely on the core that made them such a tough team to play against. It now includes a marquee free agent and a number of prized prospects.