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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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Mikhail Sergachev is all smiles after multi-year extension with Lightning

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He is fresh off a Stanley Cup championship, and is more than happy to be a part of a franchise that allowed him to reach the ultimate prize.

That’s why Mikhail’s Sergachev’s decision last week to sign a three-year, $14.4 million contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning was an easy and stress free process that went about as smoothly as he hoped.

“I was pretty confident that everything would be all right,” said Sergachev about the possible hurdles in contract negotations.

“I just realized I did what I had to do and played as good as I could and now it’s just up to my agent and to (general manager) Julien [BriseBois]. I kind of stopped worrying about the contract and I just focused on my everyday life and getting ready for a new season. So then when the call came, obviously I was very happy.”

The 22-year old, who was initially acquired in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens in June 2017, posted 10 goals, 24 assists and a plus-15 rating in 70 games this past season. He also contributed in the team’s magical playoff run, recorded 10 points and a plus-4 rating over a span of 25 contests.

His new deal will net him an annual average of $4.8 million.

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Islanders defenceman Johnny Boychuk forced to retire due to eye injury

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He still has enough left in the tank, but health reasons have forced him to ride off into the sunset.

Veteran New York Islanders defenceman Johnny Boychuk announced his retirement from hockey on Tuesday due to an eye injury that has made it unsafe for him to play moving forward.

The 36-year old’s career spanned 13 seasons. During that span, he played in 725 regular season games split between the Islanders, Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche. He amassed 54 goals, 152 assists and a plus-88 rating throughout his career.

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MacKenzie Weegar returning to Florida Panthers on three-year, $9.75 million contract

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The Florida Panthers were able to lock up one of their key defenceman to a multiyear deal on Friday.

The team has agreed to re-sign 26-year old MacKenzie Weegar to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $3.25 million.

“MacKenzie is a solid two-way competitor who brings tenacity and skill to our lineup,” said Panthers General manager Bill Zito.

“He has developed into a key member of the Panthers both on and off the ice and we look forward to him taking the next step in his career.”

The contract is backloaded and will break down as follows: $2 million next season, $3 million in 2021/22, and $4,75 million during the final season in 2022/23.

Weegar, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft, has amassed 13 goals, 28 assists, 133 penalty minutes and a plus-8 rating over a span of four NHL seasons.

He posted a career-best seven goals and 11 assists while averaging 20:07 minutes of ice-time a game this past season.

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