When I wrote about the safety of Dave Tippett and Don Maloney this past weekend, I assumed Tippett's fate would be directly tied to Maloney's, as it's rare that a head coach stays when the GM who hired him goes.
Turns out, it was exactly the opposite for the Arizona Coyotes.
In the wake of Don Maloney's official firing earlier this afternoon, Dave Tippett is expected to take a larger role in nearly every facet of the team's personnel decisions:
Further to @RealKyper tweet, any shakeup in ARIZ would likely mean an increased role in personnel decisions for Dave Tippett— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2016
As far as coaches go, you can't ask for a whole lot better than Tippett. His win totals among active coaches are up there with Mike Babcock and Joel Quennville. Vaunted company indeed.
But Ken Campbell of The Hockey News thinks Tippett has a specific motivation. And it's one that's highly worrying.
Under Maloney, the Coyotes did things the right way, building up a stable of draft picks and prospects with terrific drafting and trading of veterans. But now, essentially because coach Dave Tippett won the power struggle that cost Maloney his job, the mandate will be to win immediately.
Your feelings about Campbell's coverage of the Coyotes aside, it's not as though Campbell is barking up an unknown tree. Tippett's desire to win has been apparent for several years now, especially given the rampant speculation about his time with the Coyotes after the brutal season they underwent last year.
So Dave Tippett wants to win sooner rather than later, as does practically every NHL coach. But often times that desire is at odds with the realities of successful team-building.
Shortcuts in the rebuild process have a nasty tendency to go wrong quickly. The Minnesota Wild attempted to supercharge their Cup chances by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to mega deals, and they are still looking to advance past the second round. It took wholesale changes to nearly the entire organization for the Toronto Maple Leafs to finally hit the reset button. The Edmonton Oilers are still trying to figure it out ten years and four first overall picks later.
And one can't help but think of another Valley club with a star player at his position on a value contract. That team spent over $200 million and their first overall pick from just last year to go into "win now" mode.
In their first week of play, that team is 2-5, and their two premier acquisitions look dangerously ordinary.
Of course there is plenty of time for the Arizona Diamondbacks' moves to pay off. And sometimes the right move at the right time can yield huge results, as Marian Gaborik and the Los Angeles Kings can attest.
The Arizona Coyotes are in decent shape. Their talent pool is excellent, and only going to get better. They have three first round picks over the next two years. And of course, they have an excellent head coach.
That head coach wants to win now. But if he's not careful, not only will he not win now, he'll prevent his team from winning in the future.