Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/7/14

MONTREAL - JUNE 26: Oliver Ekman-Larsson poses for a photo with members of the Phoenix Coyotes organization (L-R) Assistant GM Brad Treliving, Director of Amateur Scouting Keith Gretzky, General Manager Don Maloney and Amateur Scouts Christian Ruutu and Steve Lyons after being drafted during the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 26, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Up to this point, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has only been able to daydream about potential off-season moves that will improve the Coyotes because he hasn't been issued a budget by ownership. But clarity is coming. Maloney and coach Dave Tippett met with IceArizona on Friday to outline their objectives for the summer, and now it's up to the owners to determine how much money Maloney can spend to accomplish those goals. "We're going to listen to them and do what we need to do," President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. With less than a month until free agency opens July 1 and the draft three weeks away, signaling the first wave of trade activity, time is running out to hatch a plan for free-agent targets or realistic trade options. "I need (a budget) now, not July 15, because it really does impact what we're going to do," Maloney said. Last season, the Coyotes' spending was at $62.3 million, according to capgeek.com. The cap is expected to rise for next season with projections landing it near $70 million, a noticeable jump from last season's $64.3 million upper-limit. The Coyotes won't be a cap team, even with the arrival of ownership, but in light of the competition on display in the Stanley Cup playoffs – headlined by division rival Los Angeles Kings – the Coyotes could end up spending more than they initially anticipated it would take to become a playoff team. "We had a budget that we though was competitive," LeBlanc said. "I wouldn't be surprised to see us go up a little bit." While Maloney waits for his payroll parameters, which LeBlanc expects to be in place within the next two weeks, he has touched base with the six unrestricted free agents on his current roster. "The league is having tremendous success, and everybody's looking to get significant increases," Maloney said.
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