NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will mediate a dispute between the Arizona Coyotes and former general manager John Chayka, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday Headlines. The commissioner is working on finding time in his schedule to hear the case.
On July 26, the Coyotes issued a statement saying that Chayka “quit” on the team and that the club was “disappointed” by his decision. In his own statement, provided to Azcoyotesinsider.com’s Craig Morgan, Chayka said he left the team due to a “situation created by ownership.”
Shortly after the split, Friedman reported that Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo had asked Bettman to adjudicate the divorce to clarify some contract issues between the two parties.
At issue appears to be whether the team allowed Chayka to pursue another opportunity. Friedman reports that aproximently one month before the split, 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.
“The Coyotes were stunned and enormously disappointed,” Friedman wrote in July. “However — and this will be another key part of the dispute — they made it very 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. They are prepared to argue that is written into Chayka’s contract.”
No timeline for Bettman to make a ruling on the disupte has been given. Steve Sullivan was promoted to general manager after Chayka’s departure.