December 8, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
PENTICTON, B.C. -- After his busiest summer as general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, Kevin Cheveldayoff, now into his third season in charge, finally sees his team in transition.
When the franchise relocated from Atlanta, and through the lockout-shortened season, changes to the team's roster were limited.
"You're constantly in a state of trying to improve," Cheveldayoff said ahead of this week's return to the ice with the prospects tournament in Penticton, B.C., where the Jets' rookies will be facing rookie squads from San Jose, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. "If you look at all the different players that are here and the ones that are gone, I don't know if you can take a snapshot every day and see the changes, but an overview of who was here, who is here, who's staying and who's gone, you're seeing a lot of changes.
"There's an evolution and a growth and hopefully the two intersect and lead to some good things."
The team has chosen not to re-sign free agents Ron Hainsey, Nik Antropov, Kyle Wellwood and Antti Miettinen over the summer, while re-upping with key players like defenceman Zach Bogosian and forwards Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little.
"We had obviously a lot of things that needed to happen," he said. "From a signing standpoint, there was a lot on our plate. We knew there would be processes in place and in the NHL you work on different deadlines. I thought it was a very productive summer. The acquisitions of (Devin) Setoguchi and (Michael) Frolik, we are certainly waiting anxiously to see how they integrate."
IVAN THE HEALTHY: Ivan Telegin remains one of the Jets' top prospects -- and a bit of an enigma, too. Scouts and coaches have been raving about his speed for years, but his 2012-13 season was crushed by injuries, including a concussion that limited him to just 34 games (three goals, seven assists) with the St. John's IceCaps.
"It's unfortunate the injury did hit him so hard and he missed a good portion of the season," said Cheveldayoff. "But it's all part of the process. All of these players will develop under their own time frame.
"It's just good to have a guy with his speed and ability and size back on the ice and in the prospects' stable is exciting."
-- with files from Ed Tait
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 6, 2013 0