GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If Don Maloney were the general manager of the Suns, Diamondbacks or Cardinals, hed be a rock star in the Valley. Hes photogenic, hes likeable, hes refreshingly candid for a man in his position and, most important, hes very good at his job.
In five seasons as the Coyotes' GM, he has distinguished himself with a litany of shrewd financial moves, his ability to manage a tight cap yet still field a competitive team, and his ability to find hidden gems through trades or free agency.
Maloney was criticized in most corners for allowing goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to walk in free agency while he grabbed Mike Smith off the discount rack to replace him. We all know how that worked out, but the list of similar moves is staggering when viewed in its entirety.
Ray Whitney, Antoine Vermette, Rusty Klesla, Boyd Gordon and Lauri Korpikoski are just a few of the recent success stories beyond Smith. Clearly, Dave Tippetts coaching staff and the players themselves have contributed...