The Arizona Coyotes new General Manager Bill Armstrong has been busy. Pierre LeBrun reports that he has been working 7 a.m. to midnight with breaks for lunch and dinner.
So far, these changes have been related to front office personnel rather than player changes. The biggest move being the firing of Lindsay Hofford who served as Director of Scouting and Assistant General Manager.
In addition to Hofford being fired, Armstrong has made several smaller moves.
Per the Coyotes, assistant to the GM Jake Goldberg is no longer with the organization.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) September 25, 2020
GM Bill Armstrong's culture change continues.
Per the Coyotes, Director of Statistical Analysis Brad Rossen is no longer with the organization.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) September 26, 2020
More Coyotes changes: Director of North American Amateur Scouting Phil McRae and Amateur Scout Mat Milberry are no longer with the organization.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) September 27, 2020
As we said when Hofford was first fired, these moves make sense when you look at GM Armstrong’s background. Armstrong spent a lot of time as a scout and Director of Scouting for the St. Louis Blues and it makes sense for him to start in the area that he knows best.
Historically, drafting has been a huge weakness for the Desert Dogs. If you want more look at Craig Morgan’s post from September 27th look at the Coyotes past 16 drafts.
More recently, the Coyotes were hit with a stiff penalty causing them to forfeit a first-round and second-round pick due to illegal combine testing. In his statement Gary Bettman stated:
“I have decided that no discipline shall be imposed on these individuals. While I conclude that certain Club personnel acted in a grossly negligent manner at best, which was conceded by the Club, I ultimately conclude that the record does not establish—to a standard with which I am comfortable—that those individuals engaged in intentional wrongdoing, as opposed to grossly negligent behavior.”
The testing combine controversy is a good enough reason to clean house. If nothing else the culture of the department can’t stay the same and the Coyotes can not afford another penalty like that.
While it is good to see changes, we haven’t seen who will be brought in to take over. It is hard to make the Coyotes’ scouting department worse it is a possibility.
Armstrong has shown that he is willing to make sweeping changes to the scouting department, it remains to be seen if that will be done in other areas like the coaching staff or players. But with the playoffs over and the offseason officially started Armstrong has a lot more long days ahead of him.