Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Chevy, Zinger whittling away at it

Scores of chores remain on to-do list

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WINNIPEG GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and director of hockey ops/assistant GM Craig Heisinger are spending the weekend attacking many issues that need to be resolved ASAP.

Here's Cheveldayoff's latest take on a few of them:

The priority list:

"There's lots of things running concurrently that are tremendous priorities for us. There's coaching staff, there's scouting staff, there's the draft, there's Andrew Ladd and some other guys there (restricted and unrestricted free agents) who are going to need attention very, very quickly.

"We have to connect with the players, setting them up. A lot of guys indicated to me when I talked to them that they'd like to come in early and look at housing in July. We're going to whittle away at each one, one at a time."

On whether Andrew Ladd, if re-signed, would remain the captain or if that would be a decision made by the head coach:

"There would have to be a really compelling argument placed to me to change my mind that he wouldn't be the captain. From all I've gathered and everyone I've talked to, this guy is the leader of the team."

On the draft and possible trading up or down from the No. 7 spot in the first round:

"None of the general managers have called with respect to talking about trades yet. You can never say never to anything. You have to be open. But someone would have to really blow my socks off (to make a deal) to add someone that fits our salary structure and fits our positional needs. If we can get a good, young player at No. 7, that's going to be someone we're going to build around for a long, long time."

What do they expect to get at No. 7?

"The top 10 guys are very strong. There's not a consensus No. 1, but you could get the best guy at No. 10 and no one would scoff at you and think you're crazy to think that. When you have such a high pick as this, I don't think you can NOT draft the best player available. From the position standpoint, if you start out-thinking yourself and taking something over another... I don't know if that's the proper approach. I'd like a guy who is going to fit from the character standpoint, fit from a hockey sense and speed standpoint as to what we hope to accomplish."

Knowing the roster and what's in the organization, what would you like to get at No. 7?

"I want to get an impact player, whatever that position is. We have some guys coming into their own as impact players like Evander Kane and we have some young guys who are still going to take some time to develop like (Alexander) Burmistrov. If we could add more goals to the lineup that would be a huge, huge thing. But you have to project where the roster is going to be in a few years. A guy at No. 7 could be ready right now or could be a few years down the line."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

-- with files from Gary Lawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2011 B3

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