THEY aren't the sexiest additions -- no blockbuster trades or free-agent splashes here -- but, collectively, they will be critical to the Winnipeg Jets.

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Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff: it’s about hiring the right people.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff: it’s about hiring the right people.

THEY aren't the sexiest additions -- no blockbuster trades or free-agent splashes here -- but, collectively, they will be critical to the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets unveiled their hockey operations and training staff on Thursday, officially confirming the hiring of 25 personnel who will spend their nights scouting talent from Swift Current to Stockholm, stitching busted-up lips and working with prospects in an effort to turn the franchise into a bona fide contender.

"It's not about hiring great friends or people who have been in the industry for many, many years," said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. "It was about hiring the right people and I feel very strongly and very happy standing here today. This is a very good group of people that are dedicated to the Winnipeg Jets and the vision we have moving forward."

The hockey ops department features six men who have worked with the organization since its first days in Atlanta in 1999-2000, the entire training staff comes over from the Manitoba Moose while familiar faces from the IHL/AHL days -- scout Bruce Southern and new director of player development Jimmy Roy -- are also on board.

The other familiar family name is Bowness. Ryan Bowness, the son of former Jets head coach Rick Bowness, is the team's manager of hockey operations and team services -- a role he held the previous two seasons in Atlanta.

"We went into this with no preconceived notions about what had to be done here or what should be done here," Cheveldayoff said. "What we said from the onset is we were going to evaluate everybody and if they were going to be the right fit for the organization moving forward then they were going to be a part of it, regardless of their affiliation, their past histories or who they had known or worked for.

"It was about trying to come up with the right people who fit with us."

 

Officially, then, here is the Jets hockey operations department:

  • Kevin Cheveldayoff - GM and Executive Vice President
  • Craig Heisinger - Assistant GM, Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations
  • Larry Simmons - Assistant to the GM
  • Pro Scouting Staff
  • Mark Dobson, Director
  • Jack Birch, scout
  • John Perpich, scout
  • Bruce Southern, scout
  • Amateur Scouting Staff
  • Marcel Comeau, Director
  • Mark Hillier, head scout
  • Tavis MacMillan, U.S.
  • Chris Snell, OHL
  • Keith Sullivan, U.S.
  • Scott Scoville, WHL
  • Ed Friesen, scout
  • Yanick Lemay, scout
  • Pat Carmichael, scout
  • European Scouting Staff
  • Evgeny Bogdanovich, Head European scout
  • Fredrik Jax, European scout
  • Other
  • Ryan Bowness, Manager of hockey operations and team services
  • Jimmy Roy, Director of player development
  • Simmons, Dobson, Perpich, Comeau, Carmichael, Bogdanovich and Bowness have all worked for the Thrashers.
  • Training Staff
  • Rob Milette, Head Athletic Therapist
  • Brad Shaw, assistant athletic therapist
  • Lee Stubbs, assistant athletic therapist and strength and conditioning.
  • Jason McMaster, Head equipment manager
  • Mark Grehan, assistant equipment manager
  • Mark Flaman, assistant equipment manager
  • Al Pritchard, massage therapist

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca