Things are coming together in Winnipeg.
The still-nameless team announced Kevin Cheveldayoff as general manager for the franchise. He takes the job after serving as the Assistant General Manager/Senior Director, Hockey Operations for the Blackhawks below VP/GM Stan Bowman.
Bowman released a statement on the departure of Cheveldayoff.
“Kevin has informed me he has accepted the Executive Vice-President/General Manager position offered to him by True North Sports & Entertainment. While it is never easy to lose someone of his caliber, it is a great opportunity for him and his family. He was a significant part of our front office and he played an integral role in the success of the Blackhawks throughout the last two years. I want to personally thank him for his dedication to our organization and certainly wish him all the best in Winnipeg.”
Cheveldayoff has experience as the head honcho, guiding the Chicago Wolves for 12 seasons, overseeing a team that won four league championships. He joined the Blackhawks at the start of their Stanley Cup season. As a player, he was a tough-nosed defenseman that was drafted by the Islanders but had his career cut way short because of injuries. Perhaps his background of a player could give an indication of the type of hockey he would like his team to play.
Cheveldayoff's stated goal: to make Winnipeg "a contender for years to come."
In Winnipeg, he joins a front office that has Craig Heisinger, who was named Senior Vice President and Director, Hockey Operations and Assistant General Manager (is that all?). Before taking the position, Heisinger was the GM for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose for the past nine years.
While they continue to fill the front office and fill the seats, we're all patiently waiting -- some more patiently than others -- to hear the new nickname.
-- Brian Stubits