Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Chevy's first task is signing captain Ladd

But GM stays mum on potential coaches

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KEVIN CHEVELDAYOFF spent his first day on the job as GM of Winnipeg's new NHL franchise working on getting his captain signed.

Andrew Ladd, captain of the Atlanta Thrashers last season, flew into Winnipeg and along with his agent Mark MacKay and sat down with Winnipeg management.

"I spent most of the morning with Andrew and we had a good talk and a good chat and discussing the philosophy of the organization and where I want to take it," said Cheveldayoff. "We also reminisced a little bit. A year ago today we were hugging on the ice and hoisting that silver trophy over our heads. The timing was perfect for Andrew to come out here and for us to have a chat. It's exciting for me and it's exciting for him."

Cheveldayoff was assistant GM with the Chicago Blackhawks last season while Ladd was a character forward on the Stanley Cup-winning team.

"We've communicated to Andrew that we want him to be a big part of things here. There's no misconception there. He's a two-time Stanley Cup champion and a quality individual. He's a guy that will be a great face of the franchise for us here. It's a priority for us."

The new GM also reached out to Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay.

"I've called him and then he called me. Right now we're playing phone tag," said Cheveldayoff. "That conversation will be between us and will stay between us. I owe a lot of people phone calls."

Cheveldayoff spent the afternoon in meetings with visiting NHL staffers.

He refused to discuss the coaching situation. However, when the names Claude Noel and (Washington Capitals assistant coach) Bob Woods were floated by him, Cheveldayoff responded.

"I know Bobby. We played in Brandon together. I know Claude. I know a lot of guys," he said.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 10, 2011 C2

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