Stability aids Coyotes' FA pitch
Coyotes goalie Mike Smith was at dinner Tuesday night when the Glendale City Council meeting was being held that would determine the future of the franchise in Arizona. His wife kept tabs on the debate on Twitter and, when the couple returned home, the streamed video of the vote on their computer.
He wasn't nervous. He had just signed a six-year deal and felt good about the future of the franchise. He thought there would be enough yes votes to keep the team in Glendale but was told that if it didn't pass the team was likely moving to Seattle.
"I felt comfortable with both situations," Smith during a Wednesday phone conversation.
Either way, the four-year debacle was likely settled. And with its 4-3 vote approving the lease deal with RSE, the Glendale City Council made a 15-year commitment to keep the Coyotes in the desert.
Now, for the first time in years, the Coyotes can be a significant player in free agency. On Wednesday morning, GM Don Maloney met with new owner Anthony LeBlanc to talk about budget and game plan with the 48-hour negotiating window open and Friday's start to free agency closing in.
Maloney said assistant GM Brad Treliving was already making phone calls to agents when the window opened at midnight ET the night before, while the City Council determined their fate.
After years of targeting specific free agents -- former players who knew the area, players on the downside of their career, players with personal relationships with Maloney or coach Dave Tippett -- the restrictions are gone.
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