Arizona Coyotes coach Tippett: ‘Years like this are awful tough’
Dave Tippett was hired to be the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes just prior to the 2009-10 season.
Since then, he’s guided the team to the postseason three times — including an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2012 — but after two mediocre campaigns that saw the Coyotes just miss the playoffs, the team is bottoming out this season.
The ‘Yotes are currently riding a seven-game losing streak, and are just one point ahead Edmonton, the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.
At 20-34-7 and with just 47 points, the Coyotes are significantly closer to the top of the draft than they are the top of the NHL.
It’s a difficult situation for Tippett to be in, finishing out one of the worst seasons in franchise history, but just because things are bad now does not mean the future — both immediate and further down the road — have nothing positive in store.
“I think as the season goes on, we get through next week and the trade deadline, see how that all works out, and really the ability to plan for next year (and) see where we are with the young prospects,” Tippett told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “If you look at the last couple of months and this next month a half, there’s going to be young players there will be a full evaluation on.”
That means, Tippett said, the next few months are important as the organization gets a closer look at its prospects as well as veterans.
“I think at the end of the season we’ll sit down with ownership and management and coaches and figure out where we are with everything and how things are going to play out in the future,” the coach said. “Whether it’s going to be long-term or short-term will probably depend on a lot of these prospects and how they continue to grow.”
If all goes well, of course, the Coyotes will be more of a quick fix than a massive rebuilding project. But the possibility is there that the organization is still a few seasons away from really competing. Whatever the organization decides when this season is over, Tippett said he is on board.
“I’ve put a lot of time and energy in to help build this thing, and now that we have stable ownership I hope we can move forward quicker than longer,” he said. “And that’s something I’ve said all along, that I’d like to be a part of, but years like this are awful tough.
“You don’t ever plan for years like this so we’ll get through the year and hopefully we can get things going the right direction and not have to go through anymore years like this and move this organization forward how we all want to move it forward. I’ve been a part of it for a while, and I’d like to see it succeed so that’s where I’m going.”