The Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with general manager John Chayka. It had become apparent that when he didn’t show up for the team’s scrimmage on July 24th that something may be up.
Hearing via a league source that John Chayka terminated his contract with the Coyotes just over 48 hours ago. He had three years remaining on it. No confirmation yet from the team.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 26, 2020
When Chayka was not in attendance for a dinner last week with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall, rumours started to fly as to why. Was newly appointed CEO Xavier Gutierrez involved in talks with Hall more than Chayka for a reason?
Then there was the training violations that Chayka should have been aware of and did nothing to prevent.
John Chayka Resigns
John Chayka was named the Coyotes general manager on May 5, 2016. He was promoted to President of Hockey Operations on July 12, 2017. At 26-years-old, he became the youngest general manager in NHL and North American major sports history.
Chayka started with the Coyotes prior to the 2015-16 season as assistant general manager of analytics. He was responsible for all areas of hockey operations including NHL, minor league and amateur player evaluation as well as player development and coaching support. Before he joined the Coyotes, he co-founded and served as Director of Hockey Operations at Stathletes Inc. since 2009. Stathletes is a hockey analytics firm that tracks data through an intensive video analysis process and breaks down the game to provide objective insight into player and team performance tendencies.
Chayka is a native of Jordan Station, Ontario, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in 2014. Chayka was drafted to the Ontario Hockey League but decided to going to college instead. He played Junior “A” hockey in Canada and was a top scorer in the Maritime Junior “A” League. He also played briefly in the BCHL before suffering a career-ending injury.
Back in November of 2019 new owner Alex Meruelo signed Chayka to a long-term contract extension.
What This Means Going Forward
It appears that assistant general manager Steve Sullivan will replace Chayka on an interim basis per Elliotte Friedman.
Steve Sullivan will be GM of ARIZ. Likely on an interim basis, but I could see the Coyotes giving him a long look.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 26, 2020
The Arizona Coyotes are attempting to become an elite organization. Letting Chayka pursue other opportunities may be what was needed to establish more credibility to the franchise. Even though he was signed recently, owner Alex Meruelo wants to start fresh with his own team, including his son, Alex Jr. and Xavier Gutierrez as CEO.
The timing of this may be suspect, but when a change is necessary, it happens.