GLENDALE – Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney on Tuesday told reporters he was happy and grateful to have signed a long-term contract extension with the team last week, and that he’s eager to get the team back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I enjoy the people here,” Maloney said, referring to the team’s personnel. “We work well together. I think we’ve shown that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – on and off the ice.”
With Head Coach Dave Tippett watching from the audience, Maloney joked that the NHL, which is operating the team, got a bargain with his new contract.
“I felt Bill Daly took a page out of my playbook and got himself a good deal,” Maloney said with a smile. “I gave him the Walmart special. He took it.”
He added: “I’m happy and grateful to make a commitment to this franchise and this team. We’re certainly very, very hopeful that we’re going to be staying and playing and playing winning hockey in Glendale here for a long, long time.”
With his own situation resolved, Maloney said re-signing Tippett and goalie Mike Smith, and preparing for next month’s NHL Draft are at the top of his to-do list.
“His contract is up, so we have to work and see if we can come to some understanding that makes him confident enough to sign here with us, and we’re going to do everything in our power to make that happen,” Maloney said about Tippett.
► CLICK HERE TO WATCH MALONEY'S PRESS CONFERENCE
Tippett said he looks forward to discussing his contract status with Maloney in the coming days. His current contract expires June 30.
“I'm sure Don and I will talk sometime soon," Tippett said.
Regarding Maloney’s contract extension, Tippett said: “I think it’s a very positive step for the organization. He’s built and led this team in the right direction. I think it’s only fitting he gets the opportunity to continue that quest. Under some trying circumstances, he’s done an excellent job.”
Under Maloney and Tippett, the Coyotes have reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs three of the past four seasons.
“It’s a good working relationship,” Tippett said. “I respect the job that he has and how hard it is for him to maneuver things around to give us a chance to win. And I think he respects what our coaching staff does. It’s just mutual respect and everything works well together.”
► CLICK HERE TO WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE Q & A WITH TIPPETT
Maloney also told reporters on Tuesday that the team had exercised the options of Associate Coach Jim Playfair and Goaltenders Coach Sean Burke, meaning they will return to the staff next season.
NOTE: The NHL on Tuesday released the following statement from Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly regarding its meetings with the City of Glendale about the team’s ongoing ownership situation:
"We had a number of constructive meetings today with the Mayor, various members of the City Council and the acting City Manager. Everyone involved in today's discussions shares the desire and ultimate objective of transitioning the ownership of the Coyotes and safeguarding the franchise's long-term future in Glendale. We expect that representatives from the Renaissance group will begin meeting with the City to see if a mutually agreeable lease arrangement can be forged expeditiously. We will have no further comment pending completion of that process."