True North to ride with 'Chevy'
Kirk Penton, QMI Agency
|Kevin Cheveldayoff (Handout)
All signs point to Kevin Cheveldayoff being introduced soon as the general manager of Winnipeg’s new NHL team.
A source confirmed to QMI Agency on Sunday that True North Sports and Entertainment has offered the job to the Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM and senior director of hockey operations, while another said contract details are to be worked out.
It’s believed there would have to be a major issue in those talks for the former Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman to not end up with the job.
One of the sources said True North wants to announce its new GM in the next couple of days. There is speculation the announcement will be made no later than Tuesday so its new hockey boss can attend the NHL GMs meeting in Boston on Wednesday.
Cheveldayoff didn’t respond to an e-mail from the Sun on Sunday.
News broke Saturday that Rick Dudley, who served as the GM for the Atlanta Thrashers, would not be moving to Winnipeg with the franchise. True North issued a statement about the matter on Sunday.
“After meeting with Rick Dudley this week, we have decided to go in another direction with the position of general manager of our team,” True North chairman Mark Chipman said in the press release.
“We informed Rick of our decision late (Saturday) afternoon, and thanked him for his work in building a foundation and future for this team. We will have no further comment on any personnel matters at this time.”
It’s unlikely True North will have to pay for the four-year contract extension Dudley received last season. A source said Atlanta Spirit, the group that sold the Thrashers to True North, will foot the bill as part of the purchase agreement.
Cheveldayoff is well-respected in hockey circles, guiding the Chicago Wolves to four league championships over the course of 12 seasons in the IHL and AHL.
The 41-year-old Saskatoon native joined the Blackhawks in August 2009 and was part of their Stanley Cup championship last June.
Chipman and Manitoba Moose GM Craig Heisinger have a relationship with Cheveldayoff that dates back to the IHL. In addition, Heisinger was the equipment manager for the Wheat Kings when Cheveldayoff played there.
— with files from Ken Wiebe