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The Puck Stops Here

Arizona’s Chychrun Mistake

The Arizona Coyotes are supposed to be a team that is run by analytics guru John Chayka.  He is their 27 year old GM who was hired last summer despite having no experience running a hockey team at any level.  Despite that they have made a mistake that analytics would have easily predicted with analytics.

When you have a junior aged player in most cases it is best to leave him in junior.  Putting him in the NHLonly tolls his contract.  His entry year contract starts at an earlier age than necessary and he progresses toward unrestricted free agency at a younger age.  A team that wins the Stanley Cup must have player who overachieve their contract value in a salary capped world.  The most predictable class of players who overachieve their contract value is players on entry level contracts.  This is more likely to occur if a player is older than younger. 

There are two groups of players who should be treated as counter-examples to that statement.  One is players who are clearly NHL ready such as Auston Matthews or Patrik Laine this year.  Keeping them in the minors would hold them back and be counter-productive.  The other is players on a Stanley Cup contending team that would benefit from that player in a Stanley Cup run.  The 16th overall pick in the draft on the last place team in the West Conference is in neither of those groups.  Jakob Chychrun is that player.

Chychrun has played in 15 games so far this season with four points.  Arizona gave him regular playing time at the beginning but as his defensive weaknesses were exposed, that playing time dropped.  He played eight minutes in the November 19th game with San Jose and has been a healthy scratch ever since.  He has been a healthy scratch for five games.  That is a horrible way to develop a player and he has already used up the first year of his entry level contract in the process.

There are reasons that Arizona is near the bottom of the standings.  Most of them have to do with years of uncertainty as the club struggled to survive in Arizona.  The team has never had the ability to pay for top players.  Their salary cap is artificially higher because they acquired the contracts of Chris Pronger and Pavel Datsyuk who are no longer NHL players.  Removing those two contracts would make them the second lowest paid team by salary cap hit (according to capfriendly).  Only Carolina has a lower salary cap hit and not by much.

The more recent reason for Arizona to stay near the bottom of the standings is their management.  They have a new GM who is over his head.  The way he is handling Jakub Chychrun is evidence.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink


Chet's avatar

credit where it’s due, i agree completely TPSH. and to think he could’ve been OUR prospect to ruin!

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 12/01/16 at 03:46 AM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com