Prior to Wednesday’s eventual elimination game, Coyotes CEO Xavier Gutierrez spoke with Arizona Sports 98.7 (audio link) to discuss head coach Rick Tocchet and their GM situation, among other things. He gave his bench boss a vote of confidence, stating that Tocchet has done “an incredible job”. This was his third season behind the bench and Arizona’s first playoff appearance over that span. While their series against Colorado certainly didn’t end the way they were hoping for, the fact that got past Nashville in the Qualifying Round was still a step in the right direction.
As for their plans to fill their GM vacancy, Gutierrez indicated that they haven’t done a lot of work on that front since John Chayka’s resignation. As things stand, the plan is to evaluate things now that they’ve been eliminated. Assistant GM Steve Sullivan is currently filling the role on an interim basis and will be a candidate for the full-time position.
Elsewhere from the Pacific Division:
- Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers has missed the last three games of their series against St. Louis and he won’t be back for the rest of it. TSN’s Farhan Lalji relays (Twitter link) that the blueliner is dealing with a slightly separated shoulder and if Vancouver is able to advance, he should be cleared to return for the second round. The Canucks will have a chance to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions on Friday night.
- While figuring out what to do with their goaltending will be an important item on Oilers GM Ken Holland’s to-do list this offseason, Sportsnet’s Mark Spector cautions that the team should be patient on filling their pending vacancy alongside Mikko Koskinen. Veteran Mike Smith is a pending unrestricted free agent and could return but with minimal significant upgrades available on the UFA market, looking at the trade route may be the best way to go. With so many teams looking to free up cap space though, goalie options via trade may take some time to materialize.