June 07, 2011
Over the weekend, news came out that True North had decided not to retain Rick Dudley as general manager of the Winnipeg franchise despite the three years remaining on his contract. It was also learned that it had spoken with Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff for the position.
Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST, True North will make a "significant hockey operations announcement," which as the Winnipeg Free Press has learned is that Cheveldayoff will be named the franchise's general manager. Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Herald reports it's a five-year deal.
Cheveldayoff spent 12 seasons as GM of the Chicago Wolves and won four titles between the AHL and IHL, along with the Stanley Cup ring he won with the Blackhawks last season.
His first order of business will be the NHL draft June 24-25 when the Winnipeg team will select No. 7 overall and have a total of six picks through the first five rounds.
When the free-agency period begins on July 1, the Winnipeg franchise will have several restricted free agents. Andrew Ladd(notes), Zach Bogosian(notes), Blake Wheeler(notes), Rob Schremp(notes) and Anthony Stewart(notes) will all be looking for new deals beginning three weeks from Friday.
As for Winnipeg's head coach, Craig Ramsay is set to meet with True North chairman Mark Chipman this week to determine his fate. Ramsay still has a year left on his contract as the support for former Columbus Blue Jacket head coach Claude Noel grows to replace him.