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Chayka out as Coyotes GM; Sullivan takes interim role

John Chayka is no longer the Arizona Coyotes’ general manager and president of hockey operations, the team announced Sunday.

The Coyotes tabbed assistant general manager Steve Sullivan as the interim GM. Sullivan also serves as the general manager of the Tucson Roadrunners in the American Hockey League.

The team issued a strong statement upon announcing the news, which comes exactly one week before the Coyotes (33-37-8, 74 points) face off against the Nashville Predators (35-34-8, 78 points) in the opener of their best-of-five qualifying round series.

“John Chayka has quit as the General Manager and President of Hockey Operations of the Arizona Coyotes,” the team said.

“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 postseason play for the first time since 2012. 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.

“The club is moving forward and has named Steve Sullivan as interim general manager. He has the full support of the entire organization including team ownership, executive leadership, players, and coaches.

“The club will have no further comment on the matter, as the club remains focused on the opportunity to pursue a Stanley Cup.”

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Coyotes were approached about Chayka’s availability in recent months and granted permission for him to explore another job opportunity.

Chayka has been the Coyotes’ general manager since May 2016, when he became the youngest GM in North American professional sports history at the age of 26. He was promoted to president of hockey operations 14 months later.

Arizona hired Xavier A. Gutierrez as president and CEO on June 8, taking over from Ahron Cohen.

–Field Level Media

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