The Sporting News named Phoenix Coyotes
General Manager Don Maloney
as its 2009-10 Executive of the Year and Head Coach Dave Tippett
as its 2009-10 Coach of the Year in the publication’s annual NHL Awards.
The awards were determined by collecting votes from 363 NHL players, coaches and executives for its awards. The players voted for the top player (Henrik Sedin
), goalie (Ryan Miller
) and rookie (Tyler Myers
). Executives and coaches selected the top executive and coach.
Maloney, in his third season as GM of the Coyotes, hired Dave Tippett
as coach prior to the season; together, they guided the Coyotes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2002. The Coyote posted a 50-25-7 record for 107 points while setting franchise records for wins, points and home wins (29) in a season.
Maloney added several players to the Coyotes roster over the summer, acquiring Radim Vrbata
, Sami Lepisto
, Lauri Korpikoski
and Jim Vandermeer
through trades while signing veteran free agents Adrian Aucoin
, Vernon Fiddler
, Jason LaBarbera
, Taylor Pyatt
and Robert Lang
. With the Coyotes already enjoying a breakout season, the acquisitions of forwards Lee Stempniak
, Wojtek Wolski
and Petteri Nokelainen
plus defensemen Derek Morris
and Mathieu Schneider
at the March 3 trade deadline propelled the club to even greater heights. Phoenix won nine consecutive games following the trade deadline (Mar. 4-21) to tie a club record. Stempniak had 13 goals in his first 14 games after coming to Phoenix, while Wolski had 18 points in 18 games following the trade.
Hired nine days before the start of the regular season, Tippett helped the Coyotes post an NHL-best 28-point gain over its 2008-09 total, edging Colorado's 26-point improvement. The Coyotes ranked third in the NHL in team defense (2.39 goals per game), up from 24th in 2008-09 (3.04), and were sixth in the League in penalty killing (84.5 period).
Tippett became the 17th coach in Coyotes/Jets franchise history when he was hired on Sept. 24, 2009, after spending the previous six seasons as coach of the Dallas Stars
. In seven seasons as an NHL coach, Tippett has guided his teams to the playoffs six times while compiling a 321-181-72 record. That's the second-highest regular-season victory total among all NHL coaches in that span.