Coyotes blast GM John Chayka after he abruptly ‘quit’ team
The Arizona Coyotes blasted John Chayka after he suddenly resigned as general manager of the team just weeks before the NHL was scheduled to restart its season.
“John Chayka has quit as the General Manager and President of Hockey Operations of the Arizona Coyotes. The Club is disappointed in his actions and his timing as the Coyotes prepare to enter the NHL’s hub city of Edmonton, where the team will begin post-season play for the first time since 2012,” the team said Sunday in a blistering statement. “Chayka has chosen to quit on a strong and competitive team, a dedicated staff, and the Arizona Coyotes fans, the greatest fans in the NHL.”
Chayka’s relationship with the organization apparently fell apart after he was approached by another NHL owner regarding another opportunity while the league was on hiatus due to the coronavirus, according to Sportsnet.
The opportunity did not involve becoming GM of an NHL franchise, and Sportsnet reported it may have been a role outside of the league all together.
Chayka and Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo eventually butted heads over Chayka leaving, leading to Chayka terminating his contract Friday in a move that was eventually granted by the team.
The 31-year-old Chayka signed a four-year extension earlier this year.
“I love our players, coaches, staff and fans and I very much wish I could be with the team in Edmonton [for the resumption of the NHL season],” Chayka said in a statement, while wishing the team luck. “Sadly, the situation created by ownership made that an impossibility.
“That’s all I intend to say on the matter for now. A fuller, more detailed explanation may be necessary in the near future.”
Chayka was hired in 2016 at 26 years old, which made him the youngest GM professional sports.
Assistant general manager and former NHL player Steve Sullivan was named the interim general manager, and the position will be evaluated following the playoffs.
The Coyotes are slated to begin a play-in series against the Predators on Aug. 2.
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