Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney and coach Dave Tippett have had one of the most difficult jobs in sports: Trying to build a team without an owner.
With determination and a like-minded approach, they've made it work.
Fighting past the financial and organizational limitations that come with being run by the NHL, Maloney and Tippett have built a team that has made the playoffs each of their three seasons together.
They've reached a pinnacle in the franchise's history this season, leading a team with no true star players into the Western Conference finals for the first time while igniting a moribund fan base.
Led by Maloney and Tippett, the Coyotes open the conference finals against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night in the desert.