The Arizona Coyotes have fired both assistant coach Newell Brown, and Tucson Roadrunners GM Doug Soetaert. The team has also decided not to renew the contracts for pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque. Brown had been with the team since 2013, and in the league as an assistant coach since 1996. The Coyotes, amid a terrible season on almost all accounts, ranked among the league’s worst in both powerplay and penalty kill. The team clearly wanted a different face for next year as they try to turn the franchise around.
Soetaert, put in charge of the Roadrunners when John Chayka was hired last summer, watched the AHL team miss the playoffs by 11 points in their first season. Prior to this year the team had been known as the Springfield Falcons—not to be confused with the current Springfield Thunderbirds, who were previously the Portland Pirates—where they had made it past the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs just once in their last 19 seasons. It’ll be even more turnover at the top next year, when a new GM will be in place.
Arizona GM John Chayka released a statement on the moves:
I’d like to thank Newell, Doug, David and Jim for their contributions to the club. They are all good people but we believe these changes are necessary in order to improve our organization. We wish them the best in the future.
It will be interesting to see where each lands, but even more interesting to see who Chayka brings in to replace them. After hiring Mike Van Ryn and Steve Potvin last summer, as development and skills coaches respectively, perhaps one of them will be on the bench next year alongside Dave Tippett. There will also be a lot of experienced NHL coaches available even after the Sabres and Panthers fill their current vacancies.