The Arizona Coyotes and GM Bill Armstrong sure have their work cut out for them this summer. With just a dozen 2020-21 regulars under contract beyond this season – eight forwards, three defenseman, and a goalie, no first-round pick due to forfeiture, and the impending NHL Expansion Draft, there was already more than enough for the team to handle as they look to improve ahead of next season. Now, there will be one less mind to help out. As confirmed by Coyotes beat writer Craig Morgan, Special Assistant to the GM and Director of Goaltending Personnel Brian Daccord has resigned from his position. He follows Assistant GM’s Lindsay Hofford and Steve Sullivan out the door, all in the past nine months, leaving behind a desolate front office.
Daccord was in fact Armstrong’s first hire after he landed the Arizona GM job in September. Morgan describes Daccord as Armstrong’s “right-hand man” and someone who held many different responsibilities. Many of those duties involved goaltending, which was a bright spot this season in the desert with Darcy Kuemper’s continued strong play and Adin Hill taking a step forward. However, it could quickly become an area of concern with Kuemper a fixture in the trade rumor mill, Hill potentially exposed to expansion, and veteran Antti Raanta heading for free agency, without much in the way of high-end talent in the pipeline. Perhaps even more important though is that Morgan notes that Daccord was also heavily involved in recommending front office hires to Armstrong. Not only must the GM replace his two departed assistants, but he now must replace the man who was supposed to help him with the selection process. Entering his first full off-season, this could already be a do-or-die summer for Armstrong with so many major decisions on his plate and not much support.
As for Daccord, the respected hockey mind is sure to find work elsewhere, if he hasn’t already. A professional goalie in Switzerland during his playing career, Daccord has worked his way up the coaching ranks from assistant coach at his alma mater, Merrimack College, to goalie coach positions with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and in Germany, and finally to a front office position overseeing goaltending personnel, among other things. One possible landing spot could be with the Ottawa Senators, where son Joey Daccord is himself a goaltender.