Phoenix’s Maloney Named GM of the Year

The general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes, Don Maloney, has been named the NHL’s GM of the Year.

For Maloney, the year was far from easy. Tackling the tricky desert franchise was a death sentence from day one, but he managed to turn things around and even iced a team that made it to the playoffs.

First on the agenda was the hiring of coach Dave Tippett, a move that many cite as Maloney’s best of the season. Tippett helped get the Coyotes to the post-season for the first time since 2002 and had the team landing 107 points overall, grabbing franchise records for points and wins in a single season along the way.

Maloney was able to get his players to deal with a tough internal situation in Phoenix properly and was able to put a quality product on the ice, something lesser managers wouldn’t have been able to do.

As for what’s ahead, however, Maloney isn’t sure that things are going to get better any time soon. The club is still looking for an owner and is still hanging off a precipice in Glendale, making things difficult around the office for the new GM of the Year.

Looking back, though, Maloney did a hell of a job. He acquired key players at key moments, adding guys like Adrian Aucoin, Robert Lang, Radim Vrbata, and others. And he piled up good players at the trade deadline, too, pulling the trigger on various deals that brought Lee Stempniak, Wojtek Wolski, Petteri Nokelainen, Derek Morris, and Mathieu Schneider to the club.

The Coyotes won’t be content with their success this season, though, and Maloney has got to know that. He’ll have to make sure he puts together a club that capitalizes on this year and excels even in the difficult internal circumstances. The award might boost his confidence, but he’ll need more than a good attitude to pull through the next season.

Posted by Jordan Richardson.

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