Dave and Wendy Tippett had coffee on their porch on a perfect Monday morning in the Valley. It wasn’t the calm before Tippett’s typically busy day.
“My wife looked at me and said, ‘So what are we doing?’” Tippett said.
For once, the Coyotes coach had no answer.
Back from a stint as an assistant coach for Canada at the IIHF World Championships, Tippett is experiencing some rare down time while he, like an entire city, waits to see what happens in the Coyotes’ ownership saga.
“Normally, we’d go back to Minnesota and get the dogs up there where it’s a little cooler,” Tippett said, “but we’ve got this house that’s supposed to be finished in the early part of July here, and all the uncertainty about the team, so I think we’ll just stay in a holding pattern until the end of June and see how things work out.”
Tippett flew home over the weekend after Canada was eliminated in the quarterfinals in a shootout loss to eventual champ Sweden. The plan is to meet with general manager Don Maloney on Wednesday to catch up on what’s been happening in the Valley, but he’ll also be working on a synopsis of his time in Stockholm.
“The whole experience is really interesting, just working with different coaches and seeing their different ways of doing things,” he said. “There are definitely things you can learn, and obviously you get to meet players, interact with players and see their strengths and weaknesses.”
In some cases, the trip was even valuable for scouting.
“Especially on the teams with players you don’t know,” Tippett said. “Switzerland had some good players that aren’t NHL players, people who catch your eye and you wonder if they can contribute to a hockey team. We’re always looking for hockey players.”
Tippett doesn’t take much of a role for the Coyotes in the NHL Draft each June, leaving that largely to the scouts, Maloney and assistant GM Brad Treliving. So once he returns from a wedding in Minneapolis early next month, he’ll be waiting anxiously to see what happens on a number of fronts, like the NHL’s ongoing search for an owner, upcoming free agency (including his own and Maloney’s) and the draft.
“That’s the good thing about working at the World Championships,” Tippett said, chuckling. “You don’t have time to think about anything else.”