Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett is potentially one of the most sought after free agents this summer.
Tippett's contract with the Coyotes will expire on June 30 and many believe he will be heavily in demand if he can potentially be lured on to the open market. However, general manager Don Maloney hopes to keep that from happening.
Maloney stated that other teams have already been requesting permission to speak with Tippett. The Phoenix manager has not allowed such discussion to occur. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks are the three franchises with head coaching vacancies.
As is the case with Tippett, Maloney's contract was set to expire on June 30. At least, it was going to prior to the NHL extending Maloney's contract, ensuring that the tumultuous franchise would at least have a leadership group in place. It is believed that the unresolved ownership situation is potentially a sticking point for Tippett. The NHL has had control of the Phoenix franchise since 2009. Despite multiple attempts, a successful sale has yet to go through. While a new group headed by George Gosbee is attempting to close the deal, an arena agreement with the City of Glendale needs to be met. In past situations, this has been a significant roadblock.
Maloney held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon where he expressed his desire to retain Tippett. Interestingly enough, Tippett was in attendance. When asked about his future, the coach stated that he was planning on meeting with Maloney to discuss the situation later this week.
Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides are close on terms of an extension. The ownership situation is what is holding it up.