After more than a decade of paying his dues in the minors, Kevin Cheveldayoff's big NHL opportunity has come.
Cheveldayoff was formally named Winnipeg's general manager on Wednesday, leaving his role as assistant GM of the Blackhawks.
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"While it is never easy to lose someone of his caliber, it is a great opportunity for him and his family," said Hawks GM Stan Bowman, who gave Winnipeg permission to interview Cheveldayoff for the job. "He was a significant part of our front office and he played a integral role in the success of the Blackhawks throughout the last two years."
Cheveldayoff spent 12 seasons as the GM of the Chicago Wolves, leading them to two International League and two American Hockey League titles before joining the Hawks. Cheveldayoff was part of the Hawks' front office when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010.
Cheveldayoff will oversee Winnipeg's return to the NHL following the Atlanta Thrashers' move to the Manitoba city.
"It was a natural fit for me and almost too good to be true," Cheveldayoff said.
Cheveldayoff has a connection to Winnipeg franchise since the Wolves were Atlanta's AHL affiliate.
According to the Winnipeg Sun, it's believed Cheveldayoff will hire Claude Noel as the yet-to-be-named club's head coach.
The Hawks now begin a search for a new assistant GM with Marc Bergevin believed to be at the top of the list. Bergevin presently serves as director of player personnel.