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MALONEY STILL SHOPPING FOR 'HIDDEN GEM'

Thursday, 07.08.2010 / 1:46 PM / Features
By Dave Vest
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney spoke exclusively with phoenixcoyotes.com on Thursday morning on a variety of topics. Below is the transcript of the Q & A session:

Don Maloney.
Question: The Coyotes haven’t signed anyone this week. Does that mean you are done shopping for a player or players in the unrestricted free-agent market?

Maloney: “No. The market has become very quiet. During the first two or three days a lot of people were signed. Now, there seems to be a glut of players still available. We would still add a defensive-minded defenseman if the right player came along at the right price. But we don’t feel a sense of urgency to do that. So, the answer to your question is we are dabbling for value but nothing is imminent. Having said that, we are grinding it every day to find real value. We’re searching for a hidden gem at a very good cost to us.”



Question:
Forward Lee Stempniak remains unsigned. Do you still have interest in re-signing him?

Maloney: “Yes we do. I spoke to his agent on Wednesday. I think it’s been very quiet for Lee in the open market. We would be interested in re-signing him at what I would consider a value price. Those are the conversations we’re having right now. It may happen this week, next week, in September or never.”



Question:
Can you give us an update on the negotiations you are having with restricted free agent Martin Hanzal?

Maloney: “We have continued to have conversations about getting him signed to a contract that we both can live with. We will get him signed. I have no doubts about that.”



Question:
What can you tell us about Andrew Ebbett, the center you signed last week?

Maloney: “He’s a good player who has played in the NHL. He signed a two-way contract and he will come into training camp and try to win a spot. If not, he’ll provide very good depth for us.”



Question:
How would you characterize what has happened league-wide since free agency began on July 1?

Maloney: “Obviously, there has been a lot of money spent on defensemen. What I find interesting is that we’re almost getting a league where there is the haves and the have-nots, to a degree, where the teams that can spend up to the cap are spending. You look at Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago, those teams can ramp it up and pay more for good players. But I think there are more teams than there ever has been in the past that are operating where we’re operating, more at the lower end of the salary scale. And I think that’s why you see so many players still in the market.”
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