The Arizona Coyotes made headlines earlier in the week when the team announced that 26-year-old John Chayka would fill the vacant general manager position. Along with the Chayka hiring, the Coyotes also announced that they would be restructuring their hockey operations department.
As previously mentioned, Chayka will be the new general manager, but working along side him will be Alternate Governor and co-owner Gary Drummond now taking on the role of President of Hockey Operations. Dave Tippett also signed a new five year extension and gets a new title of Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations in addition to being the head coach of the team.
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The team is also looking to add a veteran assistant general manager to their newly structured hockey operations department. With Chayka lacking the experience and relationships throughout the league, this will be an important hire.
This new hockey operations department comes as a very positive thing for the organization. The Coyotes have had a need for something like this for awhile now. If the team had stable ownership in the past, this would probably already exist, but things haven’t exactly gone smoothly for the Coyotes. Better late than never though, and this will help push the organization forward.
Opposed to a general manager making all of the decisions, the Coyotes hockey operations will all collaborate together and make group decisions. Tippett’s voice in this will be a pivotal one as he’s had his system in place and knows what players will and won’t fit into his system. Over the last few seasons, there have been some ill fitting pieces into his system and the results haven’t been the greatest. With everyone pulling in the same direction, the results should be positive.
Another aspect to look at is the image the team will project to the league and other players. With a stable and growing foundation in the front office, the Coyotes start to become a more attractive landing spot for players.
With a highly rated prospect pool coming to fruition, stable ownership, the organization bringing the AHL affiliate to Arizona and the team leaving Glendale, this is a very crucial but exciting time for the Coyotes and fans. After everything the Coyotes have been through in recent history, maybe the organization’s fortunes are starting to finally turnaround.