As little as it’s fun to speculate about someone’s job security, there is news coming out of Arizona this weekend that general manager John Chayka could be on the way out of the Coyotes organization.
A number of reporters are talking about the status of the current GM, pointing to signs that there are issues in Arizona that could see Chayka and the team heading for a divorce, if not having already signed the papers.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that there is talk that Chayka may not join the team playoff bubble and that his office has been cleaned out. Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic adds:
Came out of vacation mode to check in on this: no clarity at this hour on this situation. Muddy at best. Chayka and new regime not on same page as far as I can tell. Chayka has 3 more years on his deal after this summer’s tournament. Seems headed for a divorce but let’s see.
New Developments About the Relationship Falling Apart
Friedman posted a new article Saturday, updating the situation. He writes, “It appears the relationship between John Chayka and the Arizona Coyotes fell apart over another job opportunity for the team’s current general manager.” He adds:
According to multiple sources, at some point during the pandemic, the Coyotes were approached about Chayka’s availability and granted permission for him to explore the situation.
“It was not a lateral move,” one source said. “He was not going to be the GM of another NHL team.”
Once it became clear that Chayka could leave, the team took an about-face in how they supported the GM and dug in their heels, trying to force him to stick to the last three years of his contract. The relationship soured.
Craig Morgan, who runs the azcoyotesinsider.com website, asked a team spokesman if Chayka was still GM. The organization declined to discuss the situation.
Friedman closed his article with the following:
Chayka is laying low, uninvolved in team business, not returning messages sent by anyone from agents to annoying reporters. He hasn’t attended practices, and sources indicate his office has been cleaned out. President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez, assistant GM Steve Sullivan and Alex Meruelo Jr., the owner’s son — listed as Strategic Advisor, Business and Hockey Operations — are handling much of the team’s business.
None of these things are good signs and suggest this relationship is going to end, if it hasn’t already.
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