You may view Dave Tippett’s multi-year contract extension with the Phoenix Coyotes as a sign that the team’s ownership situation is not only going to be settled soon, but that the result will be a continued stay for the team in Arizona.
A guest of Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Monday, Tippett said his decision to re-up had nothing to do with ownership and everything to do with management.
“I haven’t been a part of the ownership discussions whatsoever,” Tippett said. “My situation came down to more what Don Maloney was going to do. When Don signed his contract a couple weeks ago I thought that things would fall into place.”
Maloney, the general manager, agreed to an extension in late May.
“The thing that makes, for me, a good team, is we talk about our players playing well on the ice and playing well together and being on the same page on the ice, well I really believe that management and coaching staff have to be in the same mode,” Tippett added. “Don and I have worked very well together for four years. Once he signed a new deal and Brad Treliving, our assistant general manager, signed a new deal, I just thought this was the best fit.”
No one is going to argue with that, as the group leading the Coyotes has brought them an unparalleled level of success. In four years with the club, Tippett has guided the franchise to 156-96-42 record along with three trips to the postseason. And, in 2012, the team reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in history.
The 17th coach the organization has ever had, his .602 points percentage ranks at the top of the list.
So needless to say, keeping Tippett on the bench was imperative going forward.
Of course, keeping the team in Arizona would be nice, too, but the coach said there were no assurances given that it would be the case.
“This was a leap of faith and I’m hoping they get things done, but it was more about the people I get to work with than the location,” he said.
Tippett said he’s hopeful the ownership situation will be settled over the next couple of weeks, and if it does the Coyotes will head into free agency with as much momentum as anyone. Presumably a new owner would mean financial stability, and financial stability could mean more money to spend on players.
Conversely, the status quo would mean once again putting a team together on a shoestring budget. And if things change but not for the better, they may be heading to a new location.
One rumor has linked the team to Seattle, which is where Tippett’s daughter and grandchildren live. But while it may seem like the coach would be completely fine heading northwest, he said that’s not something he thought about and would prefer to stay in Arizona.
“My thought is to still stay in Phoenix here,” he said. “If the NHL does decide to relocate it we’ll just deal with it.
“But the one assurance that I got is if it does move then the management group and everybody would move with it, so in that sense, again, it comes back to the people I was working with rather than the location so much.”