GLENDALE -- The Coyotes on Monday relieved General Manager Don Maloney of his duties in the wake of the team failing to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a fourth straight season.
“We believe a change in leadership is needed in order to move our franchise to the next level,” Team President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc told reporters on Monday during a 25-minute press conference announcing the move. “Essentially, it is fair to say there has been a difference in philosophy in regards to how the ownership group would like to manage the operation moving forward. We wish to operate in a different manner and under a different overarching philosophy. This is about a few key points moving forward: Collaboration, communication and the modernization of our entire processes."
LeBlanc said the search for a new general manager would begin immediately and that an interim general manager would not be named. Assistant general managers Chris O’Hearn and John Chayka will manage the hockey operations department until a new general manager is hired. LeBlanc said a new general manager would be in place within the next two to six weeks.
“It’s important to understand there are some new personalities in the ownership group. We’ve evolved. We’ve learned what it means to be owners,” LeBlanc said. “When we first got here we were a bunch of giddy school kids. We’re now finally in a place where we’re operating this as a business.”
Asked if he has any candidates in mind for the job, LeBlanc said: “I do, and we're not going to say anything.”
The Coyotes posted a 35-39-8 record this season and earned 78 points, a 22-point increase from last season.
"This year had some success," LeBlanc said. "It was a good next step. It has to do more with the overall ecosystem. This decision is not being made because it's the fourth year of not making the playoffs."
LeBlanc said Head Coach Dave Tippett would be part of the group that selects the next general manager. Tippett did not address the media on Monday but will on Tuesday.
“Ownership is completely committed to winning and winning long-term here in Arizona,” LeBlanc said. “Today was the first step in moving us to the next phase as an organization.”
The Coyotes hired Maloney on May 29, 2007 to be seventh general manager in Coyotes/Jets franchise history.