Coyotes general manager John Chayka doesn’t have a contract to announce after meeting with Shane Doan and Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, but Chayka did say both sides are now focused on a one-year deal.
“We’ve discussed both a multi-year deal and a one-year deal, but at this time we’re progressing toward a year-to-year approach which is respectful to both sides,” Chayka said Wednesday. “The idea is after every year, he takes the chance to discuss it with his family.
“It’s all positive and it’s just a matter of time before we get it done.”
Doan’s contract expires on June 30 and he can become an unrestricted free agent, but Doan told Arizona Sports late this season that he has no desire to play for any other club but Arizona.
EXTENSIONS & A PROMOTION
The Coyotes announced multi-year extensions on Thursday for assistant coach/power-play specialist Newell Brown and Steve Sullivan, who was also promoted to director of player development.
The Coyotes hired Sullivan as the team’s development coach in September of 2014 to oversee amateur player development while also working with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate.
“I’ve enjoyed it so far so I’m glad to keep doing it,” Sullivan said via text message.
The team is in discussions with goalie coach Jon Elkin on an extension as well. Elkin has said he would like to return.
The Coyotes announced on Tuesday that Ron Rolston, Mike Bavis and Doug Janik would not be returning as their AHL coaching staff next season when the team moves to Tucson.
“It was a tough decision, but it really came down to a commitment from our ownership group and ourselves to ensure we have a fully integrated group from top to bottom,” Chayka said.
Chayka said the hockey operations department would look outside the organization for new coaches.
“We want a staff that is tight-knit and will work very closely with the NHL staff,” he said.
Chayka said it is possible the Coyotes will not hire an assistant GM until the Stanley Cup Finals have concluded. The team is eyeing an unknown number of candidates whose teams are still alive in the NHL playoffs.
While there are several candidates with ties to the organization or coach and executive vice president of hockey operations, Dave Tippett, Chayka said that isn’t necessarily the focus.
“I wouldn’t overplay that,” he said. “It’s just about more options. As we’re going through this process I think it’s better to be right than early.”
The following is purely speculative, but aside from Dallas assistant GM Les Jackson’s well chronicled ties to Tippett, Tampa Bay senior adviser Tom Kurvers was once a scout and then the Coyotes director of player personnel.
Pittsburgh assistant GM Billy Guerin played for Dallas while Tippett was the Stars’ coach from 2002-2006. Pittsburgh assistant GM Jason Botterill was a scout for Dallas in the 2006-07 season.
Nashville assistant GM Paul Fenton, whose team was eliminated in the last round, was Tippett’s teammate in Hartford from 1984-86.
The NHL Scouting Combine begins Sunday in Buffalo and runs through June 4. Teams will have the opportunity to evaluate 114 prospects before the draft begins on June 24, including Scottsdale’s Auston Matthews and Finnish standouts Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujärvi.
Chayka said the amount of emphasis placed on the combine varies from team to team.
“Some teams use a lot of resources to try to get as much out of it as you can; others rely almost exclusively on their own evaluation,” he said. “We’re going to dig in and gather as much information as we can. We’ve hired a sports psychologist to come in and help with the interviewing process.
“It’s like any other piece of information. You have to understand how it fits into your decision making as a whole. Any information can help you or hurt you. Our job is to make sure it can help you.”
The Coyotes hired Ari Segal as the team’s Chief Operating Officer on Wednesday.
Per the release, Segal was with the Anaheim Ducks where he served both as President of Business Operations for Anaheim’s San Diego-based AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, and Special Assistant to Ducks’ CEO Michael Schulman. Segal was a consultant to Schulman for the last three years, advising on a range of special projects including preparations for the new AHL club. Under Segal’s leadership, the Gulls finished second in attendance in the AHL during their inaugural season. Segal also recently worked with the NHL in New York in the league’s broadcast media strategy group, evaluating league and club broadcast rights and distribution deals.
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