Arizona Coyotes sign GM John Chayka to contract extension

Nov 11, 2019, 11:35 AM | Updated: 9:14 pm
John Chayka of the Arizona Coyotes attends the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 ...
John Chayka of the Arizona Coyotes attends the 2019 NHL Draft at the Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes have signed president of hockey operations and general manager John Chayka to a long-term extension, the team announced Monday.

The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Craig Morgan and confirmed by 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported Chayka had a year and a half left on his existing deal.

“John’s intellect, grit, entrepreneurial spirit and creativity are world class, and I know we have the right person at the helm to bring great days ahead here in Arizona for our Coyotes family,” Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen said in a statement.

Chayka took over as GM of the Coyotes in May of 2016, becoming the successor to Don Maloney. At the time, he was 26 years old and became the youngest GM in North American major sports history.

Since then, he’s gone on to make major overhauls to the roster that now has his fingerprints all over it.

Some of his most notable signings include doling out an eight-year contract extension for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a deal that was worth a reported $8.25 million per season. Additionally, major extensions to forward Clayton Keller, Jakob Chychrun, Christian Dvorak and Nick Schmaltz dot the timeline of Chayka’s tenure as GM.

As for trades, Chayka has dealt multiple players who were selected in the first-round. Connor Murphy (20th overall, 2011), Dylan Strome (3rd overall, 2015), Brendan Perlini (12th overall, 2014), Max Domi (12th overall, 2013) and Pierre-Olivier Joseph (23rd overall, 2017) are some of the players that have been moved. Of those players, only Joseph was actually selected by the Coyotes while Chayka was GM.

Blockbuster trades include sending Strome and Perlini to Chicago in exchange for Schmaltz; trading three prospects, forward Marcus Kruger and a draft pick to Chicago for Jordan Oesterle, Vinnie Hinostroza, a draft pick and Marian Hossa’s contract; trading Max Domi to Montreal for Alex Galchenyuk and later dealing Galchenyuk and Joseph to Pittsburgh for Phil Kessel, a prospect and a pick.

Perhaps one of the more under-the-radar transactions of Chayka’s tenure was trading forward Jamie McGinn to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Jason Demers. Demers now plays on the Coyotes’ top defensive pairing with Ekman-Larsson.

Chayka’s first-round draft pick history is comprised of Keller (2016), Chychrun (2016), Joseph (2017), Barrett Hayton (2018) and Victor Soderstrom (2019). Keller and Chychrun have gotten significant NHL playing time while Hayton made the Coyotes’ roster this year. Joseph and Soderstrom await their NHL debuts.

“We are extremely pleased to sign John to a long-term contract extension,” owner Alex Meruelo said in a statement. “John is one of the brightest and hardest-working general managers in the entire NHL and over the past four seasons, he has done an excellent job of rebuilding our franchise and transforming the Coyotes into a contender. I am fully confident that John is the right person to lead us moving forward and help us bring the Stanley Cup to Arizona.”

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