NHL Notebook: Tippett bets on Coyotes again

2013-06-25T00:00:00Z NHL Notebook: Tippett bets on Coyotes againThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

GLENDALE - Dave Tippett took a risk by forgoing plans to spend time with his wife at their offseason home in Minnesota to become coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, a franchise with a murky future after being cast into bankruptcy protection.

Four years later, Tippett has taken another leap into uncertainty, agreeing to a five-year contract extension to remain with the franchise even amid its ongoing search for stability. He's expected to officially sign the contract contract to continue coaching the Coyotes despite an ownership situation that hasn't been resolved.

"I just felt like this was the best fit because of the people you get to work with," Tippett said on Monday from Jobing.com Arena. "We all have a similar vision for how we would like to build this team. There's some challenges ahead. We put a foundation in place, but it's about taking it to the next level."

Tippett took his initial gamble in 2009, joining the Coyotes after being fired by the Dallas Stars the previous season. Despite numerous suitors and near-misses, the franchise went into this past offseason still without an owner, still being run by the league.

Last month, the NHL agreed to sell the team to Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, a group headed by Canadian investors George Gosbee, Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones. RSE must work out a lease agreement with the city of Glendale for Jobing.com Arena and the two sides have been negotiating for weeks.

Glendale's City Council is expected to vote on the lease deal on July 2, a decision that will either keep the team in Arizona or send it packing, possibly to Seattle.

Tippett led the Coyotes to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 while earning the 2010 Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year. Phoenix made the playoffs again the next year and had the best season in franchise history under Tippett in 2011-12, winning its first NHL division title and reaching the Western Conference finals for the first time.

The injury-riddled Coyotes missed the playoffs for the first time under Tippett last season.

"We all know the job Tipp has done the four years he's been here," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. "Between the patience he's shown and the respect he has in the locker room, he's a great fit for us and a key part of our future to continue to build a franchise here in Phoenix."

Slap shots

• The Vancouver Canucks are set to introduce John Tortorella as their new head coach today. He was recently fired by the Rangers.

• The Minnesota Wild re-signed goalie Niklas Backstrom to a three-year, $10.25 million deal.

• Coach Claude Noel signed a one-year contract extension with the Winnipeg Jets after the team failed to make the playoffs.

• San Jose forward Marty Havlat had surgery to repair the injured groin that sidelined him in the playoffs and will not be an option to be bought out of the final two years of his contract this summer.

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