Peter Chiarelli and others up for Penguins job, Coyotes’ future in Arizona in doubt: Around the League
Photo credit:Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
Welcome back to Around the League — the series here at CanucksArmy where we deliver you news and notes from around the National Hockey League, oftentimes through a Vancouver Canucks-tinted lens.
The Arizona Coyotes got some tough news on Tuesday night, and Pittsburgh Penguins may feel like they got their own dose of tough news on Monday night.
Arizona Coyotes arena proposal in Tempe defeated by public vote
The Coyotes’ future in Arizona is in serious doubt after the events of Tuesday night.
As everyone knows, the Coyotes played the 2022–23 regular season out of the 4,600-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe. After that move, the Coyotes’ proposed a plan to city council to build a $2.1 billion entertainment district, with a 16,000-seat arena at its center, on the site of a toxic landfill along the Rio Salado Parkway in close proximity to ASU campus.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, those plans have been defeated by a local referendum in resounding fashion.
With the release of the results from 29,153 ballots, the “No” option captured 56 percent of the votes on Propositions 301, 302, and 303, each of which would’ve had to pass for the Coyotes to win the special election.
The Coyotes have a standing three-year agreement with ASU, with an option for a fourth year, to play out of Mullett Arena. It’s unclear at this point where the club, owned by Latino billionaire Alex Meruelo, will turn with its long-term future hanging in the balance.
Relocation is a serious option here that will no doubt be considered. Nonetheless, this is bad news for the Coyotes and will be a situation to watch closely. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman put out a statement shortly after the decision was made public.
“The National Hockey League is terribly disappointed by the results of the public referenda regarding the Coyotes’ arena project in Tempe,” Bettman said. “We are going to review with the Coyotes what the best options might be going forward.”
Peter Chiarelli, Marc Bergevin, and others interview for Penguins job
When you read some of the names that are out there when it comes to the vacant roles in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office, you’re almost surprised to not see Jim Benning’s name pop up.
The Penguins’ saga this season was well-documented, especially at this site. Ahead of the trade deadline, the Penguins, right on the playoff bubble and clearly needing a push, began to make some moves to clear up cap space, leading many to believe they were preparing to make a big splash on trade deadline day.
Rumours of talks between the Canucks and Penguins centred around JT Miller intensified basically right up until the deadline, with Pittsburgh instead electing to add Mikael Granlund, who was just as disappointing as everyone — except for apparently Ron Hextall and Brian Burke — thought he’d be.
Later reports revealed that the Canucks’ ask for Miller was two first round picks and a prospect, which the Penguins clearly felt was just too high a price to pay. The Penguins went on to miss the playoffs, with their big deadline acquisition tallying one goal and four assists through 21 games. The club’s first playoff miss since 2006 ultimately cost Hextall and Burke their jobs, and the Penguins have begun their search for new leadership.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, Marc Bergevin and Peter Chiarelli were among the candidates spoken to during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first wave of interviews in their search for a new general manager. The Penguins plan to hire both a president and a general manager, according to multiple reports.
LeBrun added that the Penguins were hoping to interview 10-12 candidates during their initial round of interviews, which also included Carolina Hurricanes assistant general manager Eric Tulsky and Buffalo Sabres associate general manager Jason Karmanos.
Chiarelli served as the Boston Bruins’ GM from 2006 to 2015 before taking over the Edmonton Oilers. Chiarelli’s tenure in Boston was much more successful than his four year run in Edmonton, to say the least. Having arrived with a rookie Connor McDavid on his roster, the Oilers missed the playoffs in three out of the four seasons Chiarelli was in Edmonton — so naturally, he’s interviewing for another shot at running an NHL roster.
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