WINNIPEG'S NHL franchise will hand the draft-day helm to Marcel Comeau next week in St. Paul, Minn.
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has told Comeau, the Atlanta Thrashers' head scout since 2003, he will run the draft for the franchise for the seven-round event June 24-25 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Cheveldayoff and assistant GM/director of hockey operations Craig Heisinger will meet with the scouting staff next Tuesday and Wednesday in advance of the draft to map out a game plan. Winnipeg picks seventh overall in the first round.
True North told Atlanta director of amateur scouting and player development Dan Marr last week his services will not be renewed but the rest of the staff -- which attended the draft combine in Toronto earlier this month -- will apparently be in St. Paul.
"We'll make some final decisions moving forward on that position for next year," said Chevledayoff. "The basis for this right now is assessing the staff in quick order and discussing internally what direction we want to go with that staff and then head into the draft with it and make assessments and evaluations and re-staff or staff up for the following year."
The Winnipeg... ?
Two sources are now saying the unveiling of Winnipeg's name will come before the draft, possibly after the NHL's board of governors meet in New York next Tuesday to confirm the sale and relocation of the franchise from the Atlanta Spirit Group to True North.
TSN is reporting that because of the uncertainty of the logo and sweater design, Winnipeg will use a generic NHL jersey when announcing its first selection at the draft.
Cheveldayoff and Heisinger have a number of balls in the air daily and managing the to-do list is gobbling up all their time. And Cheveldayoff, for one, is enjoying every second of it.
"This is fun in the sense that my alarm hasn't had to wake me up once since even when I started talking to Mark (Chipman) about the potential of being here," said Cheveldayoff. "Your mind is always going. Zinger and I laugh about it... you're so tired at the end of the day your head hits the pillow and you go to sleep. Then all of a sudden you wake up in the middle of the night and you're going from that point on. You're mind's just racing. That's the exciting part. That's the exhilarating part and I can see that being the case from now till puck drop.
"There's no misconception that this is a tremendous responsibility and when you take on a responsibility like this, you can't take it lightly. It's exciting. This is the National Hockey League. This is the best hockey league in the entire world and you want to make sure you uphold your values and all the things we set out to achieve we exceed and set the bar even higher."