By Bobby Bauders
John Chayka was hired as the 8th General Manager in Coyotes/Jets franchise history on May 5, 2016. Coyotes have struggled since losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the 2012 Western Conference Final. So, a new GM in Arizona may not come as a surprise. What does come as a surprise is the fact that the new GM is 27-years-old, the youngest in National Hockey League history.
Given his young age, and given the the volume of his new job, Chayka will likely be eager to place his stamp on the franchise.
Chayka has already been active in the trade market, trading for the negotiation rights for defenseman Alex Gologoski.
Don’t expect Chayka to be done. The Coyotes finished 7th in the league, and improvements need to be made. An all around upgrade could be due for the franchise. Mike Smith is currently the starting goaltender. One can see how they may need to upgrade there.
Some potential targets for goalie may include Marc-Andre Fleury and Ben Bishop who may be on their way out of Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay respectively.
Names like Steven Stamkos, Eric Staal, Keith Yandle, and David Backes are all set to become UFAs should their respective teams choose not to re-sign them.
With than in mind, and a desire for success, Chayka could be in for a fairly busy summer and free agency.
Most have reported that Stamkos is mainly looking at the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. It would be interesting to see if Chayka would at least kick tires on acquiring Stamkos’ rights or acquiring Stamkos in free agency. Stamkos could definitely fill seats in the desert.