Friedman reported yesterday that Chayka may be out as Coyotes GM.
The Meruelo family took over ownership in Jan./Feb. and apparently are not impressed by Chayka's body of work both in terms of hockey and financial management. Arizona has never made the playoffs during Chayka's tenure (they were 22nd in the league when Bettman threw them a play-in bone this year). They have started spending some real money on salaries (instead of just taking on dead cap dollars) despite the fact that attendance remains poor and the season ticket base almost non-existent.
This was only Chayka's fourth year in charge, so this would seem a bit precipitous. However, in context of a new owner inheriting a GM from the previous ownership group, it is not entirely surprising. I wonder if there is language in Chayka's contract that allows the organization to fire him with cause in the event that he violates league or club rules pertaining to professional conduct. The testing prospects scandal, if Chayka participated in it, would certainly constitute a league violation of professional conduct. And maybe Meruelo is hoping the organization gets off with a lighter punishment if the mastermind is dismissed.
Okay then, according to LeBrun, Chayka terminated his contract on Friday. Steve Sullivan is the interim GM.
The whole thing still seems kind of weird. Chayka had three years left on his contract and one would assume years 5, 6, and 7 of a GM's tenure would be good ones if you have been doing your job properly.
It is also odd to think he is supposedly stepping away for a non-hockey opportunity. Unless he was being paid way less working for Arizona than most GMs in the NHL make, there is almost no conceivable way he is not taking a pay cut now.