12 February 2013

Wolves hosting Kevin Cheveldayoff Night on Feb. 16

The Chicago Wolves will honor former general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff -- the architect for all four of the franchise’s championship teams -- by raising a banner bearing his name to the Allstate Arena rafters prior to Chicago’s 7 p.m. game against Lake Erie on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Cheveldayoff, who’s in his second season as general manager for the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets, becomes just the sixth person to be honored with a banner by the Wolves. He will be joined for the on-ice ceremony by a group that includes his wife, Janet, their children, Chase and Alexi, and Wolves chairman Don Levin and vice chairman William Buddy Meyers.

“The Wolves are my family,” Cheveldayoff said. “My wife and kids grew up cheering for the Wolves with the crest on their jerseys for a good portion of their lives. Those memories come back immediately. Chicago is where my hockey management career really started and I’ll forever be indebted and grateful to Don Levin and Buddy Meyers for the opportunity.”

Levin knew “Chevy” by recommendation and reputation -- he helped the Utah Grizzlies win the International Hockey League’s 1996 Turner Cup as an assistant coach and assistant vice president for hockey operations -- but didn’t know he was just 27 years old as Levin made the hire after a series of phone calls. Cheveldayoff and head coach John Anderson led the Wolves to the 1998 Turner Cup in their first year together.

“Kevin Cheveldayoff is brilliant,” Levin said. “He might be the smartest hockey guy I’ve ever met.”

“Chevy is the most knowledgeable of anyone I have ever met in the game,” said Meyers, who has been part of professional hockey as an agent and owner for more than 35 years. “We would often watch the game from his skybox and his perception of not only the players’ performance, but also an explanation of how the play should have been, was always right on. His tenure with the Wolves and what he’s done since he left, to me, ranks him in the top five of those in the game today.”

Cheveldayoff spent 11 more seasons with the Wolves and won three more championships (the 2000 Turner Cup, 2002 Calder Cup and 2008 Calder Cup) before joining the Chicago Blackhawks for two seasons as assistant general manager and senior director of hockey operations. Winnipeg hired him as general manager on June 8, 2011.