The long-term future of the Phoenix Coyotes remains up in the air, as it has for three years now, but the long-term future of their general manager is not. The team announced Friday afternoon that they've signed GM Don Maloney to a "long-term" contract extension, although it's not clear just how long that term will be.
Maloney has been at the helm in Phoenix since 2007, and in that time he's led the Coyotes to three playoff appearances including one run to the Western Conference Finals and an impressive 230-172-56 overall record in the regular season. He's done it all despite less than ideal off-ice working conditions, from setting up his office with folding tables at the team's practice rink to the constant fears that the Coyotes might relocate out of the desert.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who for all intents and purposes is Maloney's boss since the league owns the team, alluded to that fact in a team statement.
"We are very pleased that Don has agreed to sign a long-term contract extension with the Coyotes," said Daly. "Don has done an outstanding job managing his team and building a competitive roster that has produced on the ice, even given less than ideal circumstances off the ice. The NHL remains committed to securing the Coyotes' future in Glendale under new ownership, and we believe Don's long-term agreement evidences that he is equally committed."
It's rare that a league official comments in a team press release regarding the hiring of a general manager, but that's just one way the Coyotes ongoing situation is completely bizarre. It's also the context in which Maloney has done an impressive job leading them the last few years, and it's a well-deserved contract extension for the 54-year-old.