Though the Arizona Coyotes are still reeling from the sudden departure of GM John Chayka on the eve of the postseason, this hasn’t stopped the speculation of what could be next for the front office. Steve Sullivan has been named interim GM for the time being, but the team may look at other options as well. One such possibility that has been mentioned by two separate sources is former Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli.
Scott Burnside of The Athletic writes that he has heard from others that Chiarelli remains a trusted name in NHL circles and one that league officials would like to help find a new home. Arizona, perhaps the team that the league has assisted most through the years, would seemingly be a good pairing. Oilers beat writer Jim Matheson adds to the theory, stating that this is not the first he has heard Chiarelli linked to the Coyotes. Matheson applauds the promotion of Sullivan but does not rule out Chiarelli joining the front office in some capacity. While many consider Chiarelli’s tenure in Edmonton to be a disaster, he did create a Stanley Cup winner in Boston and still has plenty of supporters.
However, it’s unlikely that current Coyotes star Taylor Hall is among Chiarelli’s fans. The impending free agent was traded away from Edmonton, a city and team he enjoyed playing for, by Chiarelli. If Arizona thinks they have a chance to sign Hall this off-season, Chiarelli could be a problem. His hiring would likely indicate that Hall is not in the team’s future plans. Given the team’s tight salary cap space, this is a strong possibility anyhow. There’s also the chance that if consulted Chiarelli would opt against signing Hall long-term anyway. After all, the return that Chiarelli got for trading Hall from Edmonton to New Jersey would imply that he doesn’t highly value the player.