Steve Sullivan, who was Deputy Managing Director, has been appointed interim general manager.
Chayka still had three years on her contract. In a statement, Chayka cites ownership as the reason he left the club before arriving in Edmonton to return to NHL play.
“I love our players, coaches, staff and fans and I really wish I could be with the Edmonton team. Unfortunately, the situation created by the property made this impossible, ”said Chayka.
“That’s all I intend to say about it for now. A fuller and more detailed explanation may be needed in the near future. Until then, I wish the Coyotes in Edmonton the best of luck and thank everyone in our pack for the support we have shown Kathryn, our daughter and myself over the years. I also want to congratulate Steve Sullivan as he steps into a new role. We have been working side by side for years. He’s a great person and a great hockey spirit.
The Coyotes responded by saying that Chayka had stepped down as general manager and president of hockey operations with the club.
“The club are disappointed with their actions and timing as the Coyotes prepare to move into central NHL city of Edmonton, where the team will start the postseason game for the first time since 2012. Chayka chose to stop on solid and competitive ground. the team, dedicated staff and the Arizona Coyotes fans, the biggest fans in the NHL, ”the team said in a statement.
“The club is moving forward and has appointed Steve Sullivan as interim general manager. He enjoys the full support of the entire organization, including team ownership, executive management, players and coaches. ”
Under Chayka, the Coyotes missed the playoffs three straight years before advancing to the NHL playoff qualifying round this season.
The Coyotes hired Xavier A. Gutierrez as chief executive officer on June 8, succeeding Ahron Cohen. On July 29, 2019, Alex Meruelo purchased the franchise, with former owner Andrew Barroway remaining as minority owner.
Chayka was appointed general manager of the Coyotes on May 5, 2016 and was promoted to president of hockey operations on July 12, 2017. At age 26, he became the youngest general manager of the NHL and in major sports history in North America.
He joined the Coyotes ahead of the 2015-16 season as assistant general manager of analysis.
The NHL currently has an ongoing investigation into alleged recruiting violations by the Coyotes as they are investigated for draft-eligible CHL candidates who take illegal fitness tests.
The Coyotes are set to face the Nashville Predators in their best qualifying round of five starting August 2 in Edmonton.