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John Chayka’s First Year As The GM For The Arizona Coyotes

from Jonas Siegel of the CP at the Ottawa Citizen,

While taking in a Panthers game on break from the NHL general managers in Florida earlier this month, the youngest GM in pro sports history picked the brain of one of hockey's greatest players and savviest managers.

John Chayka wanted to know how Steve Yzerman went about constructing Team Canada's Olympic and world championship teams, and how the process helped him develop as a manager.

"And I don't know how much it helps me in my situation in Arizona too much...(but) at the same time I think you can always apply logic or learn no matter what the background is," Chayka said of conversations with the hall of famer and Tampa Bay Lightning GM.

The Arizona Coyotes' 27-year-old GM has tried to absorb as many lessons as possible in his first year on the job, from building relationships with more experienced colleagues to handling trade talks at the deadline to figuring out how to best to manage time. It's all new for the Jordan Station, Ont., native, a shocking hire by the Coyotes at age 26 last spring.

The GMs fraternity in the NHL is prototypical of an old boys club, populated by former players, coaches and managers. The average age of the other 30 GMs is 54 with the oldest of the group, 74-year-old Lou Lamoriello, hired into the league in 1987 before Chayka was even born in 1989.

Chayka hints that his age has been "an issue" in his first-year dealings as GM, nothing malicious, he says, "but there is the reality that you are the youngest person in the room."

Still, he contends that his unique viewpoint serves as a helpful counterbalance in trades with some of his fellow GMs because his wants and needs may differ from competitors.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+chayka


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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