While there is a new group ready to close the deal on purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes, an arena deal with the City of Glendale has yet to be met, which has previously been a major roadblock for buyers. Until a deal is agreed upon, the Coyotes organization cannot move forward with the normal business at hand.
Although Phoenix general manager, Don Maloney, was recently signed to a multiple-year deal, there are still many contracts that need to be extended; most importantly are those of head coach, Dave Tippett, goalie Mike Smith and center Boyd Gordon. It is believed that all three are awaiting the result of the arena deal before committing to anything.
The Coyotes first priority should be re-signing Tippett to an extension because if he is signed, players – admittedly Smith, will likely follow. That looks like what they plan to do as Maloney held a press conference last Tuesday in which he voiced his interest in keeping Tippett. Reports have also said that Maloney is not allowing other teams who have asked for permission to talk to Tippett and he has surely garnered a lot of interest as there are an abundance of teams in need of a head coach this off-season including the Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.
Hopefully the arena deal will not be a sticking point and will be completed before the end of this month as the Coyotes could miss out on a lot of their free agents due to the lack of resolve as Tippett’s contract is set to expire Jun. 30th and players can test free agency come July.