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Don Maloney will ruin the Phoenix Coyotes. Those are my words. Write them down. Add them to your MySpace. Do whatever you need to do to remember them.
The word tonight from TSN is that Maloney has been appointed GM of the Coyotes. This season, he was the right hand man to New York Rangers' GM Glen Sather.
Maloney's last GM job ended way back on December 2, 1995 after he was terminated by the New York Islanders. There's a reason it's been more than a decade since he commanded an NHL front office, folks.
Maloney was heir to Bill Torrey's throne on Long Island. If you don't remember Torrey, he was the man that built the Islanders' dynasty in the early 1980's. Torrey stayed on for another decade, a length of time some may argue was too long, leaving the team after the 1991-92 season to help build the Florida Panthers. After Torrey's departure, Maloney took over and almost singlehandedly drove the team into the ground.
In Maloney's first season on Long Island, he didn't make any significant changes to the team or any of the personnel that Torrey had brought in. That year, the Islanders made an improbable run to the Conference Finals, which currently stands as the last time the team has won a playoff series. The following year the team was swept in the first round by the Rangers and you can argue that the franchise has never recovered from that defeat.
From there, Maloney's madness set in. In the only move to appear reasonable at the time, he brought in Ron Hextall and let fan favorite Glenn Healy walk as a UFA. That never panned out, and things just went downhill from there. Maloney traded away Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakhov for (deep breath) Kirk Muller. He got rid of Benoit Hogue and let Ray Ferraro, the team's leading scorer, walk. Possibly worst of all, he was the man who initially hired 'Mad' Mike Milbury, who has been a thorn in the organization's side for years.
Now, you're probably thinking; 'You're a huge islander fan, this is probably some sort of exaggeration or slander, right?' Sort of. Everyone is subject to bias, so that may be true to an extent, but the facts speak for themselves.
If Maloney is such a talent as a GM, it should not have taken this long for him to get another gig. After he was let go on Long Island, Maloney was hired as a scout by the San Jose Sharks. To his credit he has a great eye for talent evaluation. He drafted Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, and Wade Redden. That's not all there is to being a GM in the NHL though, and surely someone would have given him another shot at it (or at least a job higher on the totem pole than a scout) if they thought he could do a good job. The fact of the matter is for twelve years no NHL team thought Maloney was good enough as a GM for their team. Twelve years is a long time between jobs, and his track record speaks for itself.
The good news for the Coyotes is that after finishing second to last in the NHL this season, things can't get much worse.