Wild West – General Manager Ratings – Arizona
In week two of our look at GM ratings we will focus on Arizona and GM John Chayka. He was hired as a 26-year old after serving as the assistant GM for 11 months and 12 days under prior GM Don Maloney.
5: below average
7: above average
8: top ten
GM – John Chayka hired May 5th, 2016
First category, winning:
Regular season record: 131 W 147 L 24 OTL 14 SOL: 0.477 Win %
Playoffs: have missed the playoffs every season
Best result: This season, were four points out of the last wild card spot in the West.
Chayka took over a middling team that struggled to score and the leading goal getter the year before was a 38-year old Shane Doan. He inherited Oliver Ekman-Larsson (24), Max Domi (20) and Anthony Duclair (20) who along with Doan were in the top four of scoring for the Coyotes in 2015-2016. Fast forward to this season and the Coyotes still struggle with offense, but are at least above 0.500.
Winning rating: 6.5
32 players drafted over four seasons with five of those being 1st round picks.
The jury is still out on most of Chayka's draft picks from 2016 forward but he had two first round picks in his first year in 2016 and looks to have hit with both Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun. Aside from Barrett Hayton and his 20 NHL games, these are the only three draft picks of Chayka to play an NHL game so far. Prospects drafted are Pierre-Olivier Joseph (traded to Pittsburgh), Jan Jenik, Victor Soderstrom and Matias Maccelli. The cupboard is pretty bare, but the picks in 2016 put his drafting slightly above average.
Drafting score: 7.1
We will only focus on trades that turned out very well or the price was too high for the return. More recent trades, the jury is still out, so we can only focus on trades where history tells us the result.
Trades made: 50
June 16th, 2016 traded a 5th round pick #128th overall in 2016 (Colton Point) for Alex Goligoski – Arizona had the cap space for Goligoski and secured him very cheaply and he is still an important piece on their defense.
June 24th, 2016 traded Joe Vitale, a 1st round 20th overall pick in 2016 (Dennis Cholowski) and a 2nd round #53rd overall pick (Filip Hronek) for Pavel Datsyuk and a 1st round 16th overall pick in 2016 (Jakob Chychrun) – In order to move up four spots, in the 1st round to get Chychrun, Chayka gave up his 2nd round pick and took on almost $6.4 in salary cap space. The jury is still out on this one, but in Chayka's defense – the organization needed to hit the salary cap floor, but they couldn't afford to pay that money at the time. This was a solution. They hit the floor and didn't have to pay that out in 'real' money.
June 25th, 2016 traded 2nd round #37th overall pick in 2016 (Libor Hajek) for Tony DeAngelo – a very good deal if looked at today.
February 26th, 2017 traded Martin Hanzal, Ryan White and a 4th round pick #97th overall in 2017 (Mason Shaw) for Grayson Downing, a 1st round #23rd overall pick in 2017 (Pierre-Olivier Joseph), a 2nd round #55th overall pick in 2018 (Kevin Bahl) and a 4th round #104th overall pick in 2019 (Eric Hjorth) – Not one of Chuck Fletcher's best trades.
June 23rd, 2017 traded Tony DeAngelo and a 1st round 7th overall pick in 2017 (Lias Andersson) for Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta – Both Stepan and Raanta are important players on Arizona, but this is a baffling move when it happened and in hindsight.
November 25th, 2018 traded Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome for Nick Schmaltz – This one comes down to preference over Strome or Schmaltz as it looked one sided last season when Schmaltz was hurt but is evening out more after this season.
June 21st, 2019 traded 1st round pick #14th overall in 2019 (Cam York) and 2nd round pick #45 overall in 2019 (Egor Afanasyev) for a 1st round pick #11 overall (Victor Soderstrom) – This is the second trade Chayka has given up a 2nd round pick to move up and only time will tell.
June 29th, 2019 traded Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Olivier Joseph for Phil Kessel, Dane Birks and a 4th round pick in 2021 – Both Kessel and Galchenyuk fizzled but Joseph might be the deciding factor that shifts this to a big mistake.
December 16th, 2019 traded Nick Merkley, Nathan Schnarr, Kevin Bahl, 1st round pick in 2020 (#10 currently) and a conditional 3rd round pick in 2021. – To me this is a shocking deal, for a player that is to be a UFA at the end of the year, on a team that is not that close to contending for a Stanley Cup. Why Chayka would go all in, is puzzling to say the least.
Chayka reminds me of myself in my keeper pool. I always want to be patient and build from the draft but can't resist the shiny, established players to improve a little in the standings.
Trade score: 5.7
Chayka has only bought out one player in 2016 and that was Antoine Vermette who was signed by Don Maloney.
The Coyotes have wisely avoided the large UFA deal on July 1st for the most part but did re-sign Oliver Ekman-Larsson for an eight year $8.25 million AAV deal in 2018 that might come back to haunt them. For a team that used to have plenty of cap space out of necessity, they are right near the salary cap this season and will have to make some fairly large decisions for next season to be under.
Signings score: 7.2
Overall score 6.62
Next season will be Chayka's fifth season as the GM and his moves should have taken their hold by now if this team was break out of their seasons of mediocrity. He hasn't had the same financial shackles of his predecessor and surprisingly has been one of the more impatient GMs in terms of pulling the trigger on young players. Personally, I'm not sure how he survives the Taylor Hall trade if they are unable to re-sign him.
No data at this moment.