Arizona Coyotes focus on ‘process’ as rebuild continues
Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong did not shy away from using the term “rebuild” when talking to the media in exit interviews on Saturday.
The Coyotes wrapped up the 2021-22 season 25-50-7 and played their last ever game in Gila River Arena after 19 years.
The 57 points were the second lowest in the NHL, only ahead of the Montreal Canadiens.
“There was a lot of really positive things,” Armstrong said. “After the deadline we moved a few bodies out and went through a lull there. But we really responded down the stretch with some big wins and big comebacks.
“I think that showed what we are all about kind of moving through this rebuild. I thought it was a positive year.”
Throughout the process that was the 2021-22 season, the Coyotes continued to send young players who could be part of the future out on the ice.
Head coach Andre Tourigny commended his young team on the adversity it fought through all year after starting the season on an 11-game losing streak.
“We were able to bounce back all year when we had adversity,” Tourigny said.
“Thats the reason I am so proud of that group.”
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere tallied 51 points on 14 goals and 37 assists. The 29-year-old acknowledged the growth the team had over the year, but knows this season was about moving forward.
“Obviously it’s a rebuild for a reason,” Gostisbehere told the media following Friday’s win over the Nashville Predators.
“I think a lot of guys took steps forward not only on the ice but off. … We got a lot of young guys that got a lot of opportunity they maybe wouldn’t get elsewhere.”
The Coyotes also announced Sunday that the team and assistant coach Phil Housley have mutually agreed to part ways.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Phil for everything he did for the Coyotes on and off the ice the past three seasons,” said Armstrong in a release. “Phil is very well-respected, a true professional and a good coach. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”