With John Chayka out, Steve Sullivan will get his likelihood to make a mark in Arizona

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The previous left winger has been stickhandling his means on the government degree for quite a few years now and has been rewarded with the interim GM submit. Can he make the job everlasting?John Chayka|Arizona CoyotesJohn Chayka’s divorce from the Arizona Coyotes was so public, it even shocked fellow workers of the franchise. Why precisely the erstwhile GM stop his submit on the eve of the Return to Play match is a query that will probably be parsed out within the coming weeks with a stream of conflicting messages, relying on which camp the sources are in.
What we do know is that Chayka blames possession for making his place untenable (as he associated to beat author Craig Morgan) and the Coyotes themselves are pulling no punches, releasing a press release that included the next slicing critique:
“The Membership is dissatisfied in his actions and his timing because the Coyotes put together to enter the NHL’s hub metropolis of Edmonton, the place the group will start post-season play for the primary time since 2012. Chayka has chosen to stop on a robust and aggressive group, a devoted workers, and the Arizona Coyotes followers, the best followers within the NHL.”
Was Chayka entertaining a job with one other franchise, inflicting a rift with new proprietor Alex Meruelo? That’s been put on the market by a pair reliable reporters, together with Elliotte Friedman, who additionally famous that Meruelo would love commissioner Gary Bettman to mediate what, at its coronary heart, is now a contractual concern between Chayka and his former employer.
What we do know is that Steve Sullivan has been named interim GM of the Coyotes after serving as assistant GM for 3 seasons. And that enables us to look into the current and future for Arizona followers.
Sullivan, who was an undersized left winger in an period that didn’t welcome such skills, has shortly seen his star rise in his post-playing days. He started his tenure in Arizona as a improvement coach in 2014-15 and garnered extra duty when he took over the assistant GM function three years later. That submit additionally got here with the twin function of GM to the AHL Tucson Roadrunners. So what do his new friends consider him?
“Sully is a passionate and good hockey man who now has a runway to essentially perceive how to do that job,” one NHL GM instructed me. “He has an incredible likelihood and benefit to maintain this job by permitting the individuals round him to assist him obtain his targets.”
One other insider described Sullivan as the kind of exec who actually takes within the info earlier than making a choice; he’s not a knee-jerk form of man. What Sullivan basically has now’s a head begin on another candidates to earn the Coyotes GM job on a everlasting foundation.
And there are candidates, to make sure. There are robust rumbling on the market that the NHL want to see Peter Chiarelli on the helm, for instance – and hey, I’m simply the messenger right here. Chiarelli’s exit from Edmonton was unceremonious to say the least, however he does have a wealth of expertise to attract from. There’s additionally former Los Angeles Kings assistant GM Mike Futa to think about, a person with an incredible status who has been within the operating for different GM jobs and reportedly even turned one down when that group tried to lowball him on wage. In case you’re in search of an area angle, former Coyotes goaltender Sean Burke can be an alternative choice. At the moment an exec with Hockey Canada (and goalie marketing consultant for the Montreal Canadiens), Burke was an assistant GM in Arizona just a few years in the past – the identical time Chayka was arising, sarcastically.
However for now, Sullivan has a superb alternative to indicate that the job must be his on a everlasting foundation. Probably the most urgent matter would be the standing of pending unrestricted free agent Taylor Corridor, who got here to the Coyotes in a blockbuster commerce with New Jersey that can value Arizona its first-round draft selection in both 2020 or 2021, relying on whether or not or not the Coyotes are slated to select within the high three this 12 months (which is feasible if Arizona loses to Nashville within the qualifying spherical and ‘wins’ the Part 2 lottery for first total). If Corridor re-signs with Arizona and the Coyotes win a playoff spherical, a 2021 third-rounder turns into a first-rounder (if a type of circumstances hits, it’s a second-rounder).
More than likely, Corridor will no less than check free company waters earlier than he decides what to do. And the Coyotes have to think about if signing the 28-year-old to a big-money, long-term contract (which little question some group will supply the latest Hart Trophy winner) is greatest for his or her franchise targets.
The 2 sides have already talked (one other level of rivalry within the Chayka saga), however now Sullivan will get the prospect to weigh in and work out the professionals and cons.
For now, Sullivan is the GM and it’s his job to show he might be the man full-time. From the sounds of it, he’s prepared – however he should know that loads of different hockey minds will probably be coveting the place, too.
Tags: arizona coyotes, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all referred to as his home. He lives in Toronto along with his spouse and children the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.

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