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COYOTES PLEDGE TO DO A BETTER JOB HANDLING THE FRANCHISE

The Arizona Coyotes have been in the news a lot this year, and for all the wrong reasons. The most public of stories was likely the messy departure of GM John Chayka in which the team asked NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to step in and resolve the dispute. There were several other issues as well. The team was punished by the NHL for physically testing undrafted prospects outside of the draft combine, there were late bonus payments/per diems to several players and, just recently, it was revealed that Arizona was late in paying its arena lease with the company that manages it. All of those issues were addressed in a news conference Tuesday.

"We will and we must course correct some of the business relationships that have historically undermined the success of this franchise," said Coyotes president/CEO Xavier Gutierrez. This was after being asked directly about the recent issues plaguing the franchise.

Newly appointed GM Bill Armstrong admitted the culture of the franchise needs to change. It started with the firing Tuesday of Director of Scouting/Assistant General Manager Lindsay Hofford. Armstrong stated it was "due to our commitment to change culture within the organization." He made it clear he has no problem with making difficult decisions if it improves the team.

"I didn't come here, all the way to the desert to get a tan," said Armstrong. "I came here to win a championship."



Armstrong, who was hired away from the St. Louis Blues, will not be allowed to participate in the draft with Arizona. It was part of his agreement with the Blues in order to get out of the two years left on his contract as Assistant GM. It was expected that Hofford would handle that part until the announcement regarding the firing Tuesday. Asked who would be running the draft for Arizona at the news conference Armstrong stated the team has talented people in place and more coming in. He said they need to get through their meetings before everything is finalized.



TIM TUCKER
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020  (17H36)