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NHL-owned Phoenix faces free agency issues

NHL.com @NHL

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney faces the tough task of maintaining the momentum of last season's surprising team while dealing with the financial restrictions put in place by the NHL.

The league still owns the franchise after buying it in U.S. Bankruptcy Court last September and has given the team a budget as it faces the potential loss of several key players after the free agency signing period begins on July 1.

Maloney says the undisclosed figure is not a lot but is "enough to make a winner."

Maloney acknowledges there is a question whether the team can afford to re-sign defenseman Zbynek (Zuh-bee-nihk) Michalek.

Maloney says Michaelek and forward Matthew Lombardi "are well-positioned" in the free agent marketplace to go wherever they want.

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