Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney being fired is one of the strangest stories of the post-season so far. The former Winnipeg franchise better known in recent years for city council controversies than on-ice success drifted back toward soap opera just when it seemed the hockey part was improving. Whoever replaces the veteran manager this summer owes him a phone call of thanks for helping to establish one of the league’s best prospect groups. Holding their own first round pick in the 2016 Draft, plus the New York Rangers’, means the team can bolster a good group even further.
Strong drafting and Don Maloney’s clever work over the phone – plus the presence of Oliver Ekman-Larsson – should have the Arizona Coyotes back into contention soon. The team in fact brought strong efforts for most of the 2015-16 season, but a playoff berth was asking a lot of this roster. The good news is the franchise has organizational depth to rival any team’s. Read more»
For the first time in team history, the Avalanche left an entry draft without selecting any players from the WHL or OHL. Head coach Patrick Roy’s emphasis on targeting players from Europe and Quebec is a complete reversal from the previous regime’s preference and is just one of many philosophical differences in how he wants to run the organization with General Manager Joe Sakic.
The San Antonio Rampage coaching staff entered the 2015-16 hockey season under a lot of pressure. Not only are they tasked with the development of the top Avalanche prospects but they must win over fans that saw their hockey team win its first-ever division championship then leave for Portland, Maine. Read more»
Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy have used the last three drafts and two summers to turn a once dismal prospect pool into an underrated one. The key to continued success in the NHL is to have good depth and cheap replacements: two things a strong pipeline provides. Before the duo took over the front office, the team depth had been hurt by immediate graduation of top picks and lack of success in the later rounds in addition to free agency duds.