Arizona Coyotes Brass Answer Questions For Fans In Town Hall

On the heels of the Arizona Coyotes release of its finances on Friday in which they detailed losses of $16.45 Million in the first fiscal year of ownership for IceArizona the team held a town hall meeting for fans outside of Gila River Arena prior to Saturday’s home game against New Jersey. Fans were able to grill General Manager Don Maloney and President and CEO Anthony Leblanc on a multitude of topics over the hour long Q&A session, including the out clause, the team’s prospects and the future of  the team, plus throwbacks!!

Leblanc got the proceedings off on a roll by addressing the team’s financial state. “What everyone should take away from the announcement of yesterday is that the plan is working,” Leblanc said. “The only thing we are focused on from a business standpoint is achieving profitability and we are well on our way to achieving profitability before the out clause kicks in,”

All told including the buyout of Mike Ribiero and the one time closing closing fee the Coyotes ended up just under $35 Million in losses for year one, with both the closing fee and the Ribiero buyout counting towards the $50 Million mark needed for the out clause to trigger.

Along those lines Leblanc revealed that Thursday’s game against  Chicago broke records for suite sales and for single game revenue, something the Coyotes accomplished three times last season.

With the business side seemingly going well it is the on ice product that most fans care about and General Manager Don Maloney addressed that head on talking about several prospects that could make their way into the lineup next season,

“ I think he’s [Max Domi] is ready to play in the NHL and he will come in next season and give us speed and energy,” Maloney said.

Maloney mentioned on multiple occasions that he expects his team to play with more energy and excitement next season but when asked by a fan about possibly following an Edmonton model of going way too young Maloney responded by saying they learned from past experiences and that they won’t be rushing their players to the big leagues.

“The idea that you are going to put 20 high schooler’s in your lineup and win is a fallacy,” Maloney said. “You have to have veteren around the young guys to teach them them how to act and play”

As far as improving their big league roster Maloney stressed that free agency won’t be a big tool used by the Coyotes this offseason but it will be used to add role players to round out the roster.

An expected move from the Coyotes in free agency could be the addition of another defensemen to help the team get a little more experience on the blue line.

“One area we need to address is to solidify our blue line,” Maloney said. The current average age of the Coyotes defensemen is less than 24 years old with Oliver Ekman-Larsson currently having played the most career games with 326 among the seven D-men on the roster.

There was plenty of optimism from the Coyotes brass throughout the town hall and Anthony Leblanc echoed that at one point by saying the optimism is the Coyotes front office was quite high. In addition to that fans can be optimistic about seeing a return of the throwback jerseys that the Arizona Coyotes wore to victory recently over the Vancouver Canucks.

“There is no question we will definitely bring back the throwback jersey again,” Leblanc said.