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NHL reportedly suspends ex-Coyotes GM John Chayka for rest of year

Bob McKenzie breaks down why the NHL came down on former Coyotes GM John Chayka in a way that the league seldom has before.

John Chayka has been suspended by the NHL through Dec. 31, 2021, according to multiple reports.

The ruling handed down by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday stated that the former Arizona Coyotes general manager “engaged in conduct detrimental to the league, breached his obligation to the club, and was properly terminated by the club.”

Chayka suddenly left his position with the Coyotes in late July, with the team issuing a statement saying that he had “quit” right before the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The former GM responded by saying he was leaving due to “the situation created by ownership.”

From Sportsnet:

At issue appeared to be whether the team allowed Chayka to pursue another opportunity. [Elliotte] Friedman reported that about one month before the divorce, another NHL team reached out to the Coyotes asking for permission to speak to Chayka about a job. The request was initially denied but later permitted, and an offer Chayka couldn’t refuse was made. Friedman reported the Coyotes made it clear the titles “general manager” and/or “president of hockey operations” could not be involved, to prove that Chayka was not making a lateral move.

At the time, Chayka had three years remaining on his contract in Arizona.

According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, Chayka is prevented from working for any NHL team through the end of the year. This punishment is not related to the Coyotes’ being docked two draft picks because of scouting combine policy violations, which happened during his time as GM.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.