Hockey GM Advice
Today is the first edition of Hockey GM Advice’s GM Report Cards!
The GM being graded today is Arizona Coyotes GM: John Chayka.
Chayka has been a little busy this offseason, with the addition of Galchenyuk, Grabner, Hinostroza and future hall of famer Marian Hossa! Bringing on Hossa should immediately make them a Stanley Cup contender right? I mean, he was in the finals 3 years in a row …. With 3 different teams, he can do it now from retirement right?
For the offense I am a big fan of what Chayka has been building over the last few years. Keller was huge for the team last year and is a big bright spot in their future. I admire the fact that they are not rushing Dylan Strome, their future #1 center. They are giving him time to develop in the AHL and giving him brief stints in the NHL to get that experience. Adding Grabner is a good addition as well, his speed and defensive reliability will help the penalty kill and you can pencil him in for 15+ goals.
The best move made though was the addition of Galchenyuk. Going the other way was Max Domi, who needed a fresh start somewhere else after a very disappointing season last year (good luck in Montreal, yikes). But the addition of Galchenyuk gives the Coyotes another top 6 center who has produced 30 goals in the past. This team is now very deep down the middle with Galchenyuk, Stepan, Dvorak, Strome & Richardson and Cousins plays a little center as well.
Chayka was able to resign OKL this offseason, which is huge. I thought for sure he was going to be a offseason trade, putting the Coyotes further away from their final rebuild. But they managed to get him signed for a more than fair contract. Add in Demers, Goligoski, Hjalmarsson and young future star Chychrun and this defence core looks pretty nice for another 3 years.
For goaltending Chayka has a very good goalie in Anti Raanta and a reliable backup in Darcy Kuemper.
The team Chayka has built is very close to pushing for a contending playoff spot if all their young players play to their potential and its clear that Chayka is ready to leave rebuild mode with his recent additions.
Chayka grade: 79/100
Hockey GM Advice team predictions:
Goals: Keller (35) Galchenyuk (31) Dvorak (24)
Assists: Galchenyuk (48) Stepan (45) Keller (39)
Team points: 91
Chayka builds a team that is much improved from previous seasons, but just fall short by 2 points of making the playoffs.