Arizona Coyotes could name new GM as early as next week

Auston Matthews was taking in the sights and sounds of the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, and spoke about how it was the Coyotes that made him a hockey fan.

The firing of longtime Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney produced some intrigue for a couple of reasons.

One, the timing was odd given Maloney’s obvious ability and because the team looks primed to take the next step in their rebuild. And two, the club reportedly showed interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kyle Dubas.

Whoever they hire as their next GM, a decision appears to be close.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if we have some form of an announcement next week or the week thereafter,” President, CEO and co-owner Anthony LeBlanc told Tuesday.

The hiring of the next GM may come with a new philosophy, or at least one that is moving toward a more pragmatic approach that’s conducive to a team with tight purse strings. Coyotes ownership could be looking to get more involved in hockey operations, too.

“There’s more to it in our minds than the hiring of a GM,” said LeBlanc. “It’s how is the entire department’s going to be structured, and that’s really what we’re focusing on.

“I’m not saying the owners are going to come in and say, ‘Make this trade. Assign this guy. But I think it’s fair to say we want to hear more of what’s going on.”

Meanwhile, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Tuesday that he advocates for the Coyotes to share a downtown arena with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, pointing out that funding could come from Maricopa County’s existing sports facilities fund rather than new taxes.

The Suns and Coyotes shared an arena from 1996-2003.

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