There is enough uncertainty around the Phoenix Coyotes franchise these days to worry about a coach, but they still don't have one of those under contract for next season either.
Bench boss Dave Tippett's contract is up at the end of June, meaning he could become a free agent coach. One team still with an opening, the Dallas Stars, might be keen on trying to bring him back to Big D, but the Coyotes would love to keep him around. He's one of the best-regarded coaches in the game.
And according to Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona, negotiations are underway between Tippett and the Coyotes.
A source familiar with the negotiations told FOX Sports Arizona that the club is in engaged in talks with coach Dave Tippett on a new contract. While the terms are not yet known, the move would represent an enormous coup for the club from a PR perspective and would also aid it greatly when the free-agent market opens on July 5.
Tippett, whose existing contract is set to expire on June 30, has said repeatedly that he wants assurances that the club would have stable ownership and the ability to spend a little more in payroll to improve the club.
As for that sale of the franchise, there appears to be a tentative deal in place, depending on whether or not the prospective owners can get the lease they need from the city of Glendale. A vote could come on that next week.
No matter, GM Don Maloney still has to move forward with building a team for next season, and getting a great coach like Tippett back on the docket is an excellent way to start. He has overseen some of the most successful years in the franchise's history. Not to mention the prospective owners in the Renaissance Sports & Entertainment group have made it known they would like to have Tippett back, too. In addition to being a good coach, they believe he would help give fans confidence in the team and thus improve ticket sales.
It is interesting to note that if the franchise were to move to Seattle as appears to be Plan B, Tippett does have a daughter and grandchildren who live in Seattle, so Morgan says that it wouldn't be an unattractive option for Tippett.
All indications are that Tippett wants to return to coach the Coyotes and they want him to as well. The only reservation has been about the franchise's future and its uncertainty, but at some point Tippett has to decide one way or the other and it appears he might have decided to stick it out with the franchise.