Maloney was responsible for crafting three consecutive playoff teams from 2010-2012, including one that made the Western Conference Finals. Recently however, Maloney's tenure as GM encountered some missteps, including the short-lived signing of Mike Ribeiro and a misjudging of the strength of the team entering the 2014-15 season.
What happens next to the organizational structure will prove critical, as Maloney has loaded the Coyotes prospect pool with a solid group of young forwards, including Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome, and Christian Dvorak among other. Early indications are that something akin to the Toronto Maple Leafs' brain trust may be emerging:
Tippett had an "out" after this season, but will not exercise it. He has two years remaining on his contract...— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2016
He is expected to have greater control over personnel, but it is expected John Chayka, current assistant GM, will have a greater role.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2016
Chayka was brought in over the summer of 2015 to strengthen Arizona's analytics department akin to Kyle Dubas in Toronto. A focus on analytics all the way to the top of player personnel decisions would also be in keeping with the character of the ownership group.
Note that the Coyotes ownership are Hedge Fund managers, IT execs and Energy sector investors... they would be comfortable with forecasting— Stephen Burtch (@SteveBurtch) April 11, 2016
These are the exact sort of owners that would be more accepting of taking things in a non-traditional direction— Stephen Burtch (@SteveBurtch) April 11, 2016
Still, the consensus is very few individuals could have managed the team during the bankruptcy years as well as Don Maloney did. The signings of players like Brad Richardson, Boyd Gordon, Lee Stempniak, and Vernon Fiddler all paid sizable dividends relative to the cost.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.
UPDATE #1: Here is the team's official statement on Don Maloney's departure:
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes announced today that Don Maloney has been relieved of his duties as general manager. An interim general manager will not be named at this time and the search for a new hire - which will be led by Coyotes Majority Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway, Alternate Governor Gary Drummond (who oversees the Coyotes hockey operations department) and President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc - will begin immediately.
Coyotes Assistant General Managers John Chayka and Chris O’Hearn will manage the Coyotes hockey operations department until a new general manager is selected.
"On behalf of our ownership group and the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, I would like to sincerely thank Don for all of his hard work and the many contributions he made to our organization during his tenure," said Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc.
"The Coyotes had some success with Don, but we believe a change in leadership is needed in order to move our franchise forward in a new direction."
Maloney was hired by the Coyotes on May 29, 2007.