Cheveldayoff takes control in Winnipeg

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.

“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.

After two years with the Blackhawks, Kevin Cheveldayoff, left, in the new general manager of the NHL team in Winnipeg. The franchise was relocated from Atlanta. AP Photo/The Canadian Press
Kevin Cheveldayoff called his new job as Winnipeg’s new general manager a natural fit. He spent 12 years with the Chicago Wolves, which was affiliated with the Atlanta Thrashers, the NHL team that was relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. AP Photo/The Canadian Press
Kevin Cheveldayoff, left, who was introduced Wednesday as general manager of the Winnipeg team relocating from Atlanta, reportedly is interested in hiring Claude Noel as the club’s new head coach, according to the Winnipeg Sun. AP Photo/The Canadian Press