In hopes to start fresh, the Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced Monday that they will not renew the contracts of their AHL affiliates coaching staff. Ray Edwards, who served as the coach and GM, assistants Trent Whitfield and John Slaney and goalie coach Alfie Michaud will not be part of the teams move from Portland, Maine to Springfield, Massachusetts.
On April 17th, the Coyotes announced that they signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League which will replace the Portland Pirates. The Portland Pirates will now serve as the AHL affiliate to the Florida Panthers.
Ray Edwards has had a part in the organization for the past six years. He was assistant coach, before moving to the head coach position in the 2009-10 season. In the four years that Edwards was head coach, the team went 210-184-52. The team took part in the post-season only twice in Portland in four years and not once while in San Antonio.
The Pirates, who finished in eighth place in the 2014-15 AHL Eastern Conference, was able make an appearance in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Coyotes this past season heavily relied on the support and young talent from their affiliate, some players even kept a permanent spot on the roster up in the NHL, such as Tobias Rieder.
With a great group of young talent available for next season, the Coyotes will most likely use their AHL players as a helpful resource. The team has made it clear that the players will get a chance in the NHL only when they are ready, making their AHL team incredibly important to the success of the youth in the organization. Cleaning house gives the team a new opportunity to start fresh in a new place.