The new Winnipeg NHL team has hired Chicago Blackhawks Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff as its new executive vice president and GM.
True North Sports and Entertainment, which purchased the former Atlanta Thrashers and re-located the franchise to Winnipeg, made the announcement Wednesday during a press conference at the MTS Centre, team's new home.
True North also named Craig Heisinger senior vice-president and director of hockey operations/assistant general manager. He had been GM of the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. True North also owned that franchise, which was based in Winnipeg.
Cheveldayoff said his goal is to make the team, "a contender for years to come."
Cheveldayoff had spent the last two years with the Chicago Blackhawks as assistant general manager and senior director of hockey operations. Prior to that, he spent 12 seasons as the general manager of the Chicago Wolves, winning Calder Cups in 2002 and 2008, and IHL Turner Cups in 1998 and 2000.
"While it is never easy to lose someone of his caliber, it is a great opportunity for him and his family," Blackhawks Vice-President/General Manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. "He was a significant part of our front office and he played an integral role in the success of the Blackhawks throughout the last two years. I want to personally thank him for his dedication to our organization and certainly wish him all the best in Winnipeg."
Rick Dudley had been general manager last season when the team was located in Atlanta, but it was announced Sunday that Dudley would not be kept on.
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