Sullivan appointed interim GM of Arizona Coyotes

NOJHL Alumni and Timmins native Steve Sullivan has been appointed interim general manager of the Arizona Coyotes.

He moves into that position after the Coyotes parted ways with John Chayka.

The club released a blunt statement on Sunday regarding Chayka’s departure.

“John Chayka has quit as the general manager and president of hockey operations of the Arizona Coyotes.”

Sullivan has been part of the Coyotes management team when he was hired as club’s director of player development in 2014.

In May 2017, Sullivan was promoted to assistant general manager.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported last week a rift regarding a third party seeking permission from the team during the pandemic to speak to Chayka about another job. That permission was granted, but when Chayka expressed interest (not believed to be a similar job elsewhere in the NHL), the team pulled back from the agreement. A discussion to let Chayka finish the current season did not resolve a quickly deteriorating relationship.

The Coyotes organization, in its statement, said, “The club is disappointed in his (Chayka’s) actions and his timing as the Coyotes prepare to enter the NHL’s hub city of Edmonton, where the team will begin post-season play for the first time since 2012. Chayka has chosen to quit on a strong and competitive team, a dedicated staff and the Arizona Coyotes.”

The club announced it was “moving forward” with the appointment of Sullivan as interim general manager.

“He has the full support of the entire organization including team ownership, executive leadership, players, and coaches,” the club said.

— With files from Lance Hornby of Postmedia