Hey there, Internet reader. I don't know you or anything about your life. But I'm going to guess that you are probably less successful than John Chayka.
The 26-year-old is set to be named the general manager of the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
Big news coming in Arizona. Coyotes expected to name 26-year-old John Chayka the GM at Thursday press conference.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) May 4, 2016
As far as we can tell, Chayka is the youngest person to ever be named to this sort of position with a major North American sports team. Stan Kasten was 27 when he became the GM of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks in 1979, and Jerry Colangelo was 28 when the Phoenix Suns hired him in 1968. Baseball has had a handful of young GMs -- Theo Epstein in Boston, Jon Daniels in Texas and Andrew Friedman in Tampa Bay were all 28 years old when hired.
But we've never seen this in hockey. Chayka will be the youngest GM in the league by 16 years, as 42-year-old Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks is now his closest peer.
His ascent can be tied to a larger trend in the NHL that's seen teams bring in stats-minded analytics gurus to work in their hockey operations departments. Two summers ago, the Maple Leafs hired 28-year-old Kyle Dubas as an assistant GM, and several other teams have added analytics minds as well. Eric Tulsky, who previously wrote about stats at SB Nation, was hired by Carolina; Sunny Mehta in New Jersey; and Tyler Dellow in Edmonton. It's quickly becoming a long list.
None of these others are in charge, though. Chayka has been in Arizona for just one year, hired as an AGM last summer. Here's his bio via the team:
Prior to joining the Coyotes, he co-founded and served as Director of Hockey Operations at Stathletes Inc. since 2009. Stathletes is a hockey analytics firm that tracks data through an intensive video analysis process and breaks down the game to provide objective insight into player and team performance tendencies.
His promotion may seem dramatic considering he has just one year of NHL experience, but for a rebuilding team like the Coyotes that may not necessarily have the resources to spend to the league's salary cap, this sort of analytics-based approach could prove quite valuable. It's also reported that coach Dave Tippett will have an increased role in player personnel decisions, likely melding Chayka's analytics approach with something a bit more traditional.
Even still, it's evident that Arizona believes this "moneypuck" approach is the answer for them, even if the guy leading the charge is younger than 13 of the 25 players currently on his roster.