Plenty has been written about the status of Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka over the last couple of days. NHL writers Elliotte Friedman and Pierre LeBrun both indicated that the Coyotes and Chayka could be headed for a divorce despite three years remaining on Chayka’s contract. The belief is that Chayka was given permission to speak to another “professional opportunity,” six weeks ago. However, with a new owner and new management in place in Arizona, it’s not surprising if the team might prefer to bring in its own GM.
The Province’s Patrick Johnston has another theory, however. The scribe wonders whether that opportunity might have been with the Buffalo Sabres as the franchise fired their general manager six weeks ago and is currently operating with a skeleton executive office staff. Granted, the GM position is currently filled by newly-hired Kevyn Adams. However, the Sabres’ ownership, the Pegulas, own quite a bit more than just the Sabres. They own the Buffalo Bills, the Rochester Americans, the ice rink and a hotel nearby. He could be a candidate to run the whole entertainment combination. Buffalo, a team who has struggled with both success on the ice and struggles to generate much income on their own, might need someone who has had some success in that area, although the Coyotes haven’t necessarily shown that success on the ice as of yet.
Chayka was a candidate for Buffalo’s GM position three years ago before the team opted to go with Jason Botterill. However, the Coyotes refused to allow the Sabres the opportunity to interview him for the position. Throw in the fact that Chayka is a native of Buffalo, having grown up 40 minutes from there in Jordan Station and the dots do connect to a possible opportunity for Chayka if the Coyotes eventually let him out of his contract.