Rumor: Gary Bettman pushing teams to hire Peter Chiarelli.

Bettman helping Chiarelli?

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Last week we touched on a rumor that was started by controversial Toronto sports journalist Steve Simmonds of the Toronto Star. The rumor suggested that the Arizona Coyotes organization was looking to hire former Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli to a position that would have given him oversight over the organizations current general manager, John Chayka.

Here's what Simmonds had to say last week:

An old rumour now circulating again: Are the Arizona Coyotes considering bringing in Peter Chiarelli in a senior position above GM John Chayka.

It was a stunning rumor to be sure and one that seemed a little far fetched but funnily enough the rumors regarding Chiarelli only picked up steam during the week when it was announced that now former Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen had left the organization. Many quickly connected the Chiarelli rumor to Cohen's departure as the opening of the president and CEO positions would certainly have aligned with Simmonds' report of a powerful position opening up for Chiarelli. The rumors seemed to have some legs to them but Coyotes insider Craig Morgan was quick to shut that down during a recent mailbag when he was hit with a number of questions regarding Chiarelli and the Coyotes.

From Morgan:

I don’t think Chiarelli will be joining the organization, which should answer the remainder of your questions.

That would seemingly have been the end of it all but in spite of the fact that Simmonds' report was seemingly refuted by a journalist with strong ties to the organization, Simmonds continues to stand by his reporting. In his most recent column the Toronto reporter has gone so far as to suggest that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is personally pushing Chiarelli as a candidate.

From Simmonds:

For some reason, and we’re not sure why, commissioner Gary Bettman wants former Oilers and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli back working in the NHL. He’d like to place him with the historically dysfunctional Arizona Coyotes.

The fact that the league's commissioner himself would be pushing Chiarelli, a failed general manager in Edmonton, would appear to be a conflict of interest but I must admit I am not sure how the league's rules would work in this regard. This certainly won't dispel any notions that the NHL, and particularly its executives, all belong to a so called "old boys club."