by Brandt Corbin
One of the worst kept secrets in hockey has now been revealed as True North Sports & Entertainment has hired Kevin Cheveldayoff to become general manager of Winnipeg’s unamed hockey club. The former 1988 New York Islander first rounder, recently was the Chicago Blackshawks assistiant general manager, and before that was the GM of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.
This announcement came about last week when True North informed Rick Dudley he was being bought out of his final four years of his contract. The very next day True North recieved permisson from the Hawks to speak with Chevedayoff, then on Sunday they officially offered the job of general manager.
Without question True North targeted Chevedayoff, likely that process began once ownership realized bringing a team Winnipeg was a reality. It’s a mortal lock that Craig Heisnger a long time Manitoba Moose employee will remain with the hockey club in some capacity likely assistant general manager. Who else will he bring with him to get this organization back to respectability? That question should be answered in the days and weeks to follow.
Ramsey to stay or go?
Cheveldayoff’s first act as general manager will be making it public whether Craig Ramsey and his coaching staff stays on board, or joins Rick Dudley on the unemployment line. As stated here yesterday, associate coach John Torchetti worked along side the new GM with the Chicago Blackhawks, so chances are he might stay on board even if Ramsey goes. Odds are Cheveldayoff could depend on a few of his reliable veterans and get their two cents in on the Thrasher head coach. If the team last season made the playoffs, likely the veteran coach keep his job, but instead they stumbled during the second half of the season, subsequently missing the playoffs.
If the coaching staff stays does Bogosian go?
It wasn’t a hidden secret this past season that third year defenseman Zach Bogosian had issues with Ramsey and Torchetti, whether they were minor or major issues it affected his play for parts of the season. The question then becomes this, if the coaching staff stays in place does Bogosian move on, or do all parties try and make this work? "I don't think that John is mean to him. I don't think he's overly vocal with him. I think John is just trying to do what he thinks is best for Zach and for everyone," Ramsay said told espn.com in February.
Despite having his statically worst season in 2010-11, it’s fair to say the 20-year-old’s stock has never been higher. Does Cheveldayoff take the risk that he straightens out his game, because if he doesn’t perform up to par, his stock drastically plummets. If Winnipeg were to package up the 2011 7th overall pick and Bogosian could they land big centerman Jeff Carter from the Flyers, would one consider that over paying for the former 50 goal scorer? I would suggest if Bogosian would be dealt it would either be at the Entry Draft June 24th or mid August, one thing is for certain we’ll find out soon enough.