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Brown out as Coyotes assistant coach; Soetaert out as Tucson GM

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The Coyotes underwent a staff shake-up on Thursday.

Coyotes GM John Chayka announced that assistant coach Newell Brown and Tucson Roadrunners GM Doug Soetaert have been relieved of their duties, and the contracts for pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque would not be renewed.

“I’d like to thank Newell, Doug, David and Jim for their contributions to the club,” Chayka wrote in a statement. “They are all good people but we believe these changes are necessary in order to improve our organization. We wish them the best in the future.”

Two team sources also confirmed that the contracts for the Coyotes medical staff would not be renewed.

Brown has spent the past four seasons with the club, and had been coaching the power play. The Coyotes power play finished last season ranked 26th in the NHL at 16.2 percent. It was 20th the previous season at 17.7 percent. The unit was better in Brown’s first two seasons when defenseman Keith Yandle was still a Coyote. Arizona’s power play was fourth in 2013-14 at 19.9 percent. The next season, it was seventh at 20 percent.

Brown was matter of fact when discussing his dismissal.

“That’s hockey,” said Brown, who still has three years left on his contract. “We had a difference in coaching philosophy and direction of the team. It’s a mutual parting of the ways.”

Brown said he would take a breath before exploring other coaching opportunities, but he added that he has already made “a couple of calls.” Before coming to the Coyotes, Brown spent the previous three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks and the five before that with Anaheim.

Soetaert just completed his first season as GM of the Roadrunners and had one more year left on his deal. Tucson got off to a hot start in its first season at 10-5, but the Roadrunners finished 29-31-8 and missed the Calder Cup Playoffs.

He spent the previous season as the Coyotes’ western professional scout after working as the head scout for Red Bull Hockey in Europe for two seasons. He also served as vice president and general manager of the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League, as president of the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate, as assistant general manager of the Flames and executive vice president and coach of the Kansas City Blades in the defunct International Hockey League.

Associate coach Jim Playfair will remain on staff. Assistant coach John Slaney is in an option year of his contract and is in discussions with the team. Goalie coach Jon Elkin is on an expiring contract but told Arizona Sports recently that he would like to return.

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