Of all the names one may have expected to hear in connection with a job in an NHL front office, former Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos would have had to be at or near the very bottom. However, according to a report, the Arizona Coyotes have reached out to the recently crowned MLB Executive of the Year.
The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reported late Saturday evening that Anthopoulos has been contacted by the Coyotes regarding a “senior position or a consulting position” with the club. Simmons cited two sources who confirmed the Coyotes reached out to the former Jays GM, and Simmons said the calls caught Anthopoulos “by complete surprise.”
Simmons added that Anthopoulos knows Coyotes assistant GM John Chayka “through his analytics work outside of hockey.” Chayka, 26, was hired this past off-season and was brought on board in part because of his analytical ability.
There was a conflicting report about the Coyotes’ interest in Anthopoulos, however. Fox Sports’ Craig Morgan reported that Arizona is not pursuing Anthopoulos.
For Anthopoulos to move from an MLB front office to a spot in the NHL would be unprecedented, and, judging from Morgan’s report, it seems to be an unlikely scenario.
Anthopoulos, a native of Montreal, was a member of the Blue Jays front office since 2003 and became the team’s GM in October 2009, and was the architect of the first Blue Jays team to make the post-season since 1993. In late October, Anthopoulos rejected a reported five-year extension from the Blue Jays, and Simmons reported that Anthopoulos isn’t expected to make a decision about his future until either late December or January.