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From the farm to the front office

Wednesday, 27.07.2011 / 1:47 PM / Feature
By Kalen Qually
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From the farm to the front office
Kevin Cheveldayoff has travelled a long way from the farm to the front office. But as Chevy points out, there are a lot of similarities between the tractor on his parents’ Saskatchewan farm and the desk he currently sits at as the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets.

“Growing up on a farm, I learned about work ethic and that you have to believe in something,” said Chevy talking about his upbringing in Blaine Lake, a farming community 50 miles north of Saskatoon.

“When you plant a seed in the ground, you have to believe it’s going to grow. And when you do something on the hockey side (as a general manager), you have to have faith it’s going to become a strength on your team.”

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff
Cheveldayoff’s gravel road through hockey began in the prairie city of Brandon, MB where he played four seasons with the Wheat Kings from 1987-1990. It was during this time that Chevy became acquainted with an equipment manager who possessed great people skills and a keen eye for talent. Craig Heisinger and Chevy re-acquainted years later as rivals in the International Hockey League, Zinger with the Manitoba Moose and Chevy with the Chicago Wolves.

After 12 seasons as the general manager of the Chicago Wolves, Chevy was hired as the assistant GM of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10 and won the Stanley Cup in his first season on the job. One year later, Zinger phoned up his friend and former rival to offer him the general manager job of Winnipeg’s new NHL team.

On his way to Winnipeg for his own press conference, Chevy with his wife, Janet, and kids, Chase and Alexi, received an especially warm welcome at the border when they were renamed the “The Royal Family” by the border guard crossing into Manitoba.

“The border guard asked me two questions,” recalled Chevy.  “He asked me ‘What is the team’s name?’ and ‘When are you going to win the Stanley Cup?’”

Hoping that Chevy’s resume is a strong indicator, the answer to the second question might be ‘soon’. Chevy has four Turner Cup championships from the IHL, two Calder Cup championships from the AHL, and most recently a Stanley Cup in 2010.

Chevy’s family will remain living in their Chicago home for the time being while the Jets’ GM adjusts to his new surroundings. The Cheveldayoff’s are already familiar with the city as Janet’s family is originally from Melita, MB.

“Ironically in a lot of ways Winnipeg was always a vacation for us,” said Chevy. “With my wife being from Manitoba, a lot of times vacations would venture into the city.”

Judging by the general manager’s exhausting new work schedule and lengthy to-do list, this latest trip to Winnipeg hardly seems like a vacation.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 49 17 23 10 40
B. Little 49 18 20 10 38
B. Wheeler 49 13 23 11 36
D. Byfuglien 49 12 20 9 32
M. Perreault 46 15 14 2 29
M. Frolik 49 10 16 6 26
M. Scheifele 49 7 19 4 26
E. Kane 34 10 12 6 22
A. Lowry 48 6 9 3 15
J. Trouba 33 5 9 5 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 14 4 2 .935 1.90
O. Pavelec 12 11 6 .911 2.52
 
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