Bettman to rule on dispute between Coyotes, John Chayka


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will arbitrate a dispute between the Arizona Coyotes and former general manager John Chayka, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in Saturday’s headlines. The commissioner is working to find time in his schedule to hear the case.

On July 26, the Coyotes released a statement saying Chayka had “resigned” from the team and the club were “disappointed” with his decision. In his own statement, provided to Craig Morgan of, Chayka said he left the team due to a “situation created by the property”.

Shortly after the split, Friedman reported that Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo asked Bettman to rule on the divorce in order to clarify some contractual issues between the two parties.

The question seems to be whether the team allowed Chayka to seize another opportunity. Friedman reports that about a month before the split, another NHL team contacted the Coyotes asking for permission to talk to Chayka about a job. The request was initially refused but later allowed, and an offer that Chayka could not refuse was made.

“The Coyotes were stunned and extremely disappointed,” Friedman wrote in July. “However – and this will be another key part of the dispute – they made it clear that the titles of ‘general manager’ and / or ‘president of hockey operations’ could not be involved, to prove that Chayka was not doing lateral movement. They are willing to argue that this is written into Chayka’s contract.

No time was given to Bettman to comment on the disruption. Steve Sullivan was promoted to General Manager after Chayka left.


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