The Arizona Coyotes have hired David Ludwig as the team’s Director of Hockey Operations & Salary Cap Compliance, joining the front office under new GM Bill Armstrong. He comes to the Coyotes after a decade at KO Sports, a licensed agency led by Kurt Overhardt that represents NHL talents like Jaccob Slavin, Viktor Arvidsson, Jacob Trouba, and, perhaps most notably, Coyotes forwards Christian Dvorak and Nick Schmaltz. Armstrong released this statement on the hire:
David brings a wealth of experience to our hockey operations department. His knowledge and expertise in contract negotiations, salary cap management and the CBA will be invaluable to us and he will play an important role in helping us build a winner in the desert.
Armstrong has quite the task in front of him to rebuild the Coyotes infrastructure after former GM John Chayka left this summer and the team was penalized heavily for draft infractions. Ludwig will join a new management group that is growing after already adding scouting guru Darryl Plandowski earlier this offseason.
Cap compliance is certainly something the Coyotes need as they currently sit nearly $3MM over the ceiling for the 2020-21 season. That’s including Marian Hossa’s $5.275MM hit, but the intricacies of how to maximize the relief for that contract are complicated and now, likely, up to Ludwig to figure out. The Coyotes have a lot of money tied up long-term in contracts for Schmaltz, Dvorak, and others, but also have a number of players coming off the books after this season. While an entire rebuild of the roster isn’t necessary, you can bet changes will be coming before long not only in the front office, but on the ice as well.