Town Hall with Wolves’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff
I attended the Wolves TownHall meeting with GM Kevin Cheveldayoff before the Wolves played (and lost) to the Milwaukee Admirals.
The GM was extremely candid and answered all the fans questions with candor, not dodging any questions at all.
Insights (and quips) from the GM:
- When asking his players why they play hockey at the beginning of the season, they answered, “for the money,” “because they love the sport,” etc. The ‘correct’ answer (paraphrased) according to the GM? “I’m playing because I want to win the championship.”
- Boris Valabik needed someone to have shot him before he’d admit to being injured. He used Valabik as an example of how pro athletes need to know the limits of their own bodies, know when exceeding those limits would hinder play, and communicate this to the coaching staff.
- When Mike Hoffman was recovering from his first hand injury this year and he was at the end of his healing time, he called the team doc to ask permission if he could fight in the upcoming game. “Yes, Hoff, you can fight.”
- Also joked that “Hoff” has a problem with breaking his hand on other player’s faces.
- A pet peeve of his is when players miss the net on shots.
- Believes that the AHL will stick with one referee due to cost constraints. The times that two refs has been used is usually when a seasoned ref is paired with a rookie.
- Players need to shoot more but it’s something that can’t be forced, players need to grow into that habit.
- Players develop more fully when they’re on winning teams as opposed to losing teams. Experience gained by Wolves players in the Cup run last year has helped players know what it takes to succeed and helps them deal with pressure more effectively.
- There are players that have not performed to their expectations . The coaching staff and management noticed this and players have received a talking to.
- He said on multiple occasions (paraphrased): “You see the same things we see, you know the game…” when discussing problems with the team’s performance. (This was nice to hear as we’ve heard players and coaches in other sports in Chicago who don’t hesitate pointing out that the fans or the press aren’t playing and so somehow don’t know the game.)
- Poor Special Teams have been one of the reasons for the inconsistent play. He pointed out the importance of a good powerplay and how in some games this year he almost hoped the Wolves wouldn’t get powerplays early. The reason being that the team had no rhythm and a bad powerplay would be worse than no powerplay. Also reiterated that on the power play, the four guys out on the kill will be working extra hard, so contrary to popular belief that it’s easier with a man advantage, the guys on power play have to step up and play even harder and work to find the seams.
- This management team is committed to winning a championship.
- Pointed out the new President of Business Operations, Mike Polisky , reiterated the commitment to the fans and how there will be some great new things for the fans next season (he hinted that maybe some things will be seen this year, but for sure there will be changes next year to heighten the fans’ experience.)
First class all the way.
If you were there, what were your thoughts?
Anything you wish would have been asked but wasn’t?