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What does Kevin Cheveldayoff do, exactly?

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy
2013 NHL Draft
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NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 30: (L-R) Executive Vice President and General Manager Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens speaks with Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff of the Winnipeg Jets during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Evander Kane has never come right out and said that he'd prefer to be employed by a different NHL team, but I think it's a pretty safe assumption at this point. There was the Vancouver radio interview, in which he said he was a Winnipeg Jet "for now" (while conveniently providing little in the way of evidence that he'd like to be a Winnipeg Jet "for longer"). There was the infamous favourited tweet

And then there's the question of why he would even want to play for Winnipeg anymore, which is pretty well unanswerable. So sure, he's never said "I want out of Winnipeg", but I'd be willing to wager he's thought it. In the last twenty seconds. A bunch of times. 

Yet he remains in Winnipeg? Why? 

The simple answer, I guess, is he's a very good hockey player that the Jets are loath to part with. This is a 22-year-old kid that's already got a 30-goal season under his belt. You want guys like that around.

But the more complicated answer is that the man employed to make these trades seems to think he's a shadow GM in the vein of Greg Sherman. The more I look at the Winnipeg Jets, the more I'm left to wonder what Kevin Cheveldayoff actually does all day.

(I know he doesn't sneak off to the park, since Winnipeg doesn't have any.)

It's time to trade Evander Kane. It's been time for ages. Move him, get something back, establish loud and clear that the Winnipeg Jets only want guys that want the Winnipeg Jets back. Even if you lose the trade slightly, this is a defensible stance.

It's what Jim Benning did when he arrived in Vancouver. Ryan Kesler wanted out, and he severely handcuffed the Canucks, providing the shortest shortlist imaginable. Benning could have gone full Gillis, refusing to trade Kesler until he got just the perfect package and kicking off a circus, but he weighed his options and decided that it was better to lose the trade than to drag the whole thing on unnecessarily, divide his room, and employ a guy who wasn't playing for his teammates so much as he was playing to keep his stats, and thus, his resale value up.

Same goes for Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay. He didn't have to trade Martin St. Louis. But he knew it was about to become a headache. So he staved it off by making a difficult move.

It's as though Cheveldayoff doesn't know trading is an option. He's been an NHL GM since June 8, 2011. He's never made a player-for-player trade, ever.

As pointed out by Illegal Curve Hockey in this excellent examination of his tendencies, not only has he traded away more draft picks than he's brought in, which makes no sense for a team that's never been a contender during his tenure, but he seems unaware there are other ways to exchange assets:

Disregarding the exchange of draft picks, as the net result of those moves is that all the draft picks that are traded, essentially are returned in another, similar, form, the most disconcerting part of Cheveldayoff’s tenure as GM of the Winnipeg Jets is that he has not made one NHL player for NHL player trade.

That seems quite astounding does it not? Repeating: In more than three years on the job, the GM has yet to trade an NHL player for an NHL player in return.

Not surprisingly, no other NHL teams can claim that title.

This is baffling. I've played EA's NHL games. This is the best part of the job. He's skipping the best part!  

One assumes Evander Kane would be gone by now if the guy orchestrating the deal knew you could take players back in return.

Between that, his team's absurd insistence on giving the below-average Ondrej Pavelec the bulk of the starts, seemingly just because he was in the net when the Jets came to Winnipeg, and the fact that the Jets are still basically just the Atlanta Thrashers in bluer shirts, you wonder what Kevin Cheveldayoff, who puts the "day off" in his own last name, is even doing over there. 

 

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