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Category: Arizona-Coyotes

Yotes Thinking Long Term

from the East Valley Tribune,

“Everything we do now is thinking long term,” general manager Don Maloney said Friday. “It’s just good for us. ... It’s going to help us get better in September and December and February rather than just patch and fill and maybe look a little bit better on paper in July.”
So when the free-agency bidding begins Sunday, Phoenix won’t be raising its hand, attempting a big splash by signing the likes of Daniel Briere, Chris Drury or Scott Gomez, players expected to receive in the neighborhood of $7 million a season.
“It doesn’t make sense to add one high-priced centerman or defenseman,” coach and managing partner Wayne Gretzky said.
“We are entering free agency looking for value,” Maloney added.

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Strader Heading To Phoenix

from the East Valley Tribune,

The Coyotes are on the verge of hiring Dave Strader to be their new TV play-by-play announcer, multiple NHL sources have confirmed.
The deal is expected to be announced by the team within the next few days.
Strader will replace Curt Keilback, who had been with the organization for 27 seasons but did not have his contract renewed.

more

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Scouts Take Center Stage

from the Arizona Republic,

Everybody plays a role on draft day, from General Manager Don Maloney to coach Wayne Gretzky to bird-dog scouts.
Maloney, recently hired after 10 years as assistant general manager with the New York Rangers, was clear about the significance of scouting reports as he prepared for his first Phoenix draft.
“Quite frankly, I’m not the most-important guy in this organization right now,” he said. “It’s Keith Gretzky. He’s the most-important guy because he and his staff are running the draft.
“He’s on the cusp, one of the best young evaluators out there right now. That’s not me. It’s people in the scouting community. It’s a very ruthless community. If somebody is not very good, they’ll weave you out and spit you out.”

read on...

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Coyotes Grab Top Draft Spot

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

It looks as if the Phoenix Coyotes will move into the top spot in the 2007 NHL entry draft, by flipping picks with the Chicago Blackhawks in order to draft Kyle Turris of the BCHL’s Burnaby Express. Phoenix was positioned at No. 3 and in theory, Turris could have fallen to them anyway.
But by stepping up, they get the player that they wanted a 6-1, 170-pound play-making centre who finished the year as the top-ranked player in the Central Scouting rankings.
Or as one NHL coach said of the decision made by the Wayne Gretzky-led Coyotes: “He (Turris) probably reminds him (Gretzky) of someone.”

continued…

Update 7:20PM EDT:
So much for that story. Chicago retained it’s #1 pick.

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Hi, I’m Wayne

from the Arizona Republic,

There have been no strong indications on which way the Coyotes, who also have the 21st pick in the first round, are leaning, but a scenario that unfolded at the Calgary Saddledome after Canada won the World Junior Championship might provide some insight.
Defenseman Karl Alzner, 18, of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, still was unwinding from that title run when he got a tap on the shoulder from the team trainer.
“He comes up to me and says, ‘Did you talk to Wayne?’ and I’m like, ‘Who?’ And he says, ‘Wayne Gretzky,’ and I said, ‘No, what are you talking about?’ ” Alzner recalled. “The trainer said he was asking for me, and my face went red. I said, ‘Are you serious?’
“He said he was in the hall, so I walk out and I’m thinking, ‘Please don’t let this be a joke, please let this don’t be a joke.’ And all of a sudden, a guy says Wayne wanted to talk to me, congratulate me. Wayne comes over and says, ‘Hi, I’m Wayne Gretzky.’ So I say, ‘Yeah, I’m Karl.’

more & check out the video profile on Karl Alzner...

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Yotes Start Building Again

from the East Valley Tribune,

“I don’t see this as a challenge. I see this as a great opportunity,” said Maloney, who had three years remaining on his contract in New York.
“This organization knows what it wants and it knows what it wants to be. We’re going to be hungry. We’re going to build from the ground up, and that’s the only way for long-term success. It’s going to take a lot of patience, a lot of hard work. For one thing, we won’t get outworked either on the ice and we certainly won’t be outworked off the ice.”
Maloney said his priorities will be to find a No. 1 goalie, preferably one who’s considered among the top 10 in the league, and plug in the many holes up front. Of the players under contract, only Shane Doan and Steven Reinprecht are considered legitimate topsix forwards.
And the Coyotes’ payroll won’t be bumping the salary cap as it did the past two seasons.

more

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Maloney Gets GM Title In Phoenix

via the Arizona Republic,

The Coyotes will name Don Maloney as their general manager at news conference Tuesday. He will replace Michael Barnett.

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Ban Tocchet

from Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune,

Short of committing a felony — and getting caught — there is little a professional athlete can do to make himself a pariah. Drugs? There’s always a second chance. A DUI arrest? Counseling and some harsh words. Dogfighting on your property? I wasn’t there, officer.
But there is one unforgivable sin: illegal gambling.
Even the whisper of a gambling scandal threatens the integrity of a sport.
But the popularity of sports is dependent on the games being fairly decided. Once that truth is violated, a sport is forever compromised.
Which is why former Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet should be permanently banned by the NHL.

read on

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Yotes GM Options

via the Arizona Republic,

Three of the Coyotes’ general manager candidates will return for second interviews with team officials early next week.
An industry source said two of the candidates are Don Maloney, assistant general manager of the New York Rangers, and Kevin Cheveldayoff, general manger of the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
Although it is likely that the new GM would be selected from that group, the door was not closed on the possibility than an 11th-hour candidate could emerge.

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Gretzky Still Has The Power

from TBM at NBC Sports,

But all the qualified people in the world won’t make a difference unless Phoenix addresses the elephant in the room, or more specifically, the legend sitting in the room as the interviews are being conducted.
Wayne Gretzky.
What most candidates would like to know is just how much power the new GM will have in the desert, since Gretzky, in addition to being the head coach, is also the managing partner of the franchise, one who has had a large voice in personnel decisions over the last few years.

read on

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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