GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Arizona Coyotes shook up the hockey world when they hired the youngest general manager in professional sports.
"He's a very intelligent guy, very forward thinking," said head coach Dave Tippett.
John Chayka is the general manager of the Coyotes, and he has Arizona thinking differently when it comes to nutrition, conditioning and analytics.
That's right, the Coyotes are a pioneer in the NHL, embracing hockey analytics.
"Obviously with my age, and some of my background, we have the ability to look at things differently," said Chayka. "I think that's ultimately what ownership was looking for here."
Hockey is a sport rich in tradition, but the Coyotes are combining the old school with the new school.
"There's always questions about something new," said Chayka. "I think there's some hurdles that hockey analytics has had to go through in order to prove itself."
"There's pros and cons to every evaluation you use no matter what it is," said Chayka.
Now Chayka admits analytics are an imperfect science.
We are dealing with humans after all.
But it does help to have numbers on your side when you're making multi-million dollar personnel decisions.