Monday, February 27, 2012

Doing Things The Chevy Way

For Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, taking time to perfect something is the essence of his managing style.

The former 16th overall draft pick in 1988 has had time to grow and learn in the game - not only by playing the game on ice level, but by watching, learning, and being a student of the game.

And wherever Cheveldayoff has gone, success has not been far behind.

In his first season behind the bench as assistant coach to Butch Goring of the IHL's Utah Grizzlies, the team captured the Turner Cup in 1995-96.

That success translated into the next step in his career - becoming a general manager.

In 1997, he started a 12 year career as the GM of the Chicago Wolves.

Here is where he learned the most about the game as a GM - winning two Turner Cups in the IHL and following that up with two Calder Cup Championships when the Wolves were moved to the AHL.

The next step was becoming assistant GM in Chicago in 2009-10 and winning the Stanley Cup - his sixth championship in 13 years of work.

Now, as trade deadline day 2012 shows, nothing has changed from what he learned when he was in Chicago with the Wolves.

The Jets are doing things the Chevy way.

As trade deadline day is for teams to stock up for a playoff run and focus on the present chance of winning hockey's ultimate prize, Cheveldayoff took the introspective route and - along with his scouting staff and Jets Governor and Co-Owner Mark Chipman - decided to make sure the right decisions for future success were taken into account.

Winnipeg hockey fans have seen this before with the MTS Centre's former tenants the Manitoba Moose.

Moose fans had to endure a few losing seasons after the original Winnipeg Jets left before success came.

The Moose failed to make the playoffs two out of their first three seasons before finally becoming a annual playoff contender.

After the move from the IHL to the AHL, the Moose missed the post-season once and enjoyed success - reaching the Calder Cup Finals in 2009.

The amalgamation of Cheveldayoff's vision and experience and True North's aims, goals, and ambitions for a franchise have created the perfect situation for the newest NHL franchise to base its future success upon.

Grow for the future and success will follow.

For now, we'll say it's doing things The Chevy Way.

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