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Coyotes promote Steve Sullivan to interim GM after John Chayka “quit” on team

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Things have gotten messy in Arizona.

With the resumption of the NHL season fast approaching, the Arizona Coyotes announced that GM John Chayka has left the team, and got himself out of the remaining four years on his contract.

We don’t know the exact details to this point, but rumours have suggested the new ownership team didn’t get along with the young general manager. They went over Chayka’s head, and started contract negotiations with pending UFA Taylor Hall without him present at meetings. On top of that, Chayka was apparently given permission to seek another job opportunity, but the team refused to part ways with him when a rumored job offer came onto his desk.

Regardless, the relationship between Chakya and new ownership appears to have ended in a nasty divorce, as emphasized by a nasty statement put out by the team on Sunday.

“The club is disappointed in 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 fans, the greatest fans in the NHL”

As a result, the Coyotes have decided to promote former NHLer Steve Sullivan to their interim general manager role. He had served under Chayka as an Assistant GM for several seasons leading up to this point. They aren’t committed to him long-term, but will give him every opportunity to prove himself to be a permanent part of their front office.

“The club is moving forward and has named Steve Sullivan as interim general manager. He has the full support of the entire organization including team ownership, executive leadership, players, and coaches.”

The Coyotes are set to face the Nashville Predators in the NHL’s qualifying round beginning on August 2nd at 2pm/ET.

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Mikko Koivu’s days with the Minnesota Wild are numbered

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It’s the end of an era in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Wild announced on Friday that they will not be bringing back captain Mikko Koivu for the 2020/2021 campaign.

“His hard work, dedication and team-first mentality will be extremely difficult to replace in our lineup. Off the ice, Mikko’s impact in the State of Hockey was immeasurable as he went out of his way to make a positive impact on so many people in our community, including his charitable contributions to Children’s Minnesota.” said Wild GM Bill Guerin.

“We thank Mikko for everything he has done for our organization and wish him and his family the best in the future.”

The 37-year old has spent his entire 15-year NHL career with the franchise. During his tenure in Minnesota, he posted 205 goals, 504 assists and a plus-70 rating in 1028 games. Koivu, who was been the Wild captain since 2009, is the franchise leader in games played, assists and points.

Rumors have suggested that the veteran will continue his playing career in his native Finland. He is not interested in playing for any NHL franchises other than the Minnesota Wild.

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Geoff Ward becomes 20th head coach in Flames history

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The Calgary Flames have decided that Geoff Ward is their guy moving forward.

The team officially removed the interim tag from the 58-year old, making him the full-time head coach heading into the 2020/2021 season. He has officially become the 20th head coach in franchise history.

Ward, who replaced Bill Peters behind the bench in November due to his racism scandal, led the Flames to a 25-15-3 record this past season.

The Flames ended up beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, but fell short in the first round of the playoffs against the Dallas Stars.

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Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy named 2020 Jack Adams Award winner

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The Boston Bruins may have seen their playoff run end in disappointing fashion, but that shouldn’t take away from their incredible season. They were the only team to reach 100 points prior to the league’s shutdown do the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result had the NHL’s best record in 2019/2020.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has been rewarded for his contributions to the team’s success this past season. It was announced on Wednesday night that he has taken home this year’s Jack Adams Award, a trophy given to the NHL’s coach of the Year recipient.

“You think about your family. It’s been a long road,” said Cassidy while reflecting on winning the award during a Zoom press conference.

“Started at the bottom in Providence. Thankful for the opportunity. Fortunate to get the chance in Boston.”

The 55-year old, who took over as Bruins bench boss in February 2017, has posted a 161-66-34 record in his three-plus season tenure with the franchise. During that span, they have reached the playoffs every season, and came within a game of winning the Stanley Cup back in 2019.

He signed a multi-year extension with the Bruins prior to the season back in September 2019.

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