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John Chayka Criticism Short-Sighted and Embarrassing

November 6, 2017, 10:06 AM ET [115 Comments]
James Tanner
Arizona Coyotes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
While the Coyotes remain stuck on one regulation win, they did manage to pick up a shoot-out win over the Hurricanes on the weekend.

The Hurricanes, one of these days, are going to start scoring goals, and then look out. Much like the Oilers, their low goal scoring (they're 30 and 31st in the NHL) has tricked people into underrating them.

In Coyotes news, such as it is, the team announced that neither Hjalmarsson nor Chychrun would accompany the team on their roadtrip that will see them play Washington, Pittsburgh and St.Louis this week.

Also Clayton Keller was named the rookie of the month, if you're the type to care about such things.

So now that you're updated, let me complain about some total BS>

John Chayka is taking some heat.

And it's the jealous, immature kind that almost always includes reference to him being in his 20s ("boy wonder,") and him being "into analytics," as if he's somehow the litmus test for the supposed "movement" that's been adopted by 100% of teams on at least some level.

The Penguins invested heavily into analytics, as did the Leafs. But no one cares.

Of course the irony that you'd have to look at some extremely unlucky short-term results in order to criticize him is completely lost on the kind of people who think everything is a litmus test for something that has already (past tense) revolutionized sports.

The people who are currently chirping about Chayka have an i-told-you-so air about them and they are ridiculous. The fact is, the Coyotes have played 15 games and used four goalies. Their big offseason pickup, a starting goalie, has played five games, at two of which he was fighting an injury.

They changed coaches, they have a young team, and their second best defenseman hasn't played a game yet.

But sure, the GM is totally to blame.

Now, you could take a shot at him for not having a better back-up option, but that's a league wide salary-cap problem. Has nothing to do with analytics any more than a whack of injuries does.

You could also take a shot at him for trading futures for players who can play now - but the team is stacked with young talent - what are they supposed to do? Just stockpile it forever?

Picking up Stepan and Raanta for a 7th overall pick in a weak draft is still a smart trade - you need to augment the kids at some point, and this was the most sensible point to do it.

The Coyotes - who haven't dressed their optimal lineup for a single game so far this year - are going to be fine. The bad luck of injuries and the 4th lowest PDO in the NHL will eventually disperse and they'll be a good team.

They are unfortunately not going to be able to make the playoffs after their terrible start, but it can still be a positive year of development.

The Coyotes might sit last in the NHL standings, but their peripherals say they should be better. Give them a healthy roster and some time to gel, and they continue to be one of the better young up and coming rosters in hockey.

Certainly complaining about a GM just because he doesn't belong to the old-boys club isn't doing anyone any favors and only serves to make hockey journalism look terrible.

Don't be short sighted. Don't overrated injuries and short-term results. The Coyotes have a top five blue-line in the NHL. They have three of the league's best young forwards and one of it's premier defensemen. Their starting goalie is coming off a groin injury.

Chayka is still the guy who picked up Demers for peanuts (whereas Larson cost Hall) got Lawson Crouse for cap space, acquired a 1C and a 1G for a ridiculously low price and somehow turned Connor Murphy into Nik Hjalmarsson. He drafted Keller and somehow picked up Chychrun.

John chayka has already proved himself one of the NHL's best GMs and despite the rough start, if I was starting a team and could pick any GM in hockey, he'd be my guy.

stats from naturalstattrick.com
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