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Chevy’s State of the Union

By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff met with the media at length on Wednesday morning in his annual year-end address, serving up some juicy remarks about the future and direction of his team.

In just under 50 minutes, Chevy talked at length about his goaltending situation, summer moves, Paul Maurice and Alexander Burmistrov. Here are today’s best quotes from the Jets GM regarding key areas of the team:

On Pavelec moving forward and if he is holding the team back…

“Ondrej Pavelec is the No. 1 goaltender going into next season.”

“As far as holding someone back, Ondrej Pavelec is a part of the Winnipeg Jets, he is apart of this team. No one person on this team is greater than the sum of its parts and as a group we certainly recognize there are a lot of areas to improve in.”

“Ondrej Pavelec is a relatively young goaltender when it comes to being a starting goaltender and when you give those young players opportunities to excel there is going to be bumps along the way. But like any professional athlete, the onus is on them to take care of all the things they need to do and the onus is upon the coach and the organization to put a plan in place to have players being able to succeed in the course of being a team.”

Ondrej Pavelec. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Ondrej Pavelec. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

On the ultimate object of this team…

“Obviously, the objective is to get into the playoffs but the ultimate objective is to go far into the playoffs. In order to do that you need to establish a core and you have to build around the core.”

On the core…

“We are going to continue to look at avenues to build the team and continue to grow people that fit around the core and expand the core. Ultimately, you want the core to go from four to five guys to six, seven or eight guys. People that are on the same page, people that are buying into the program that Paul is going to put in place.”

“We like the group of people we have assembled here. Certainly, you are always going to look and see if there is a greater fit. We have some holes in this organization here that, if we can fill them in with other players that can fit into the core, we will do that.”

“In the past couple of years I think we have spent the time trying to establish that core. It is about establishing something and then building around it. When Paul (Maurice) came in, one of the things that really intrigued him was the youth of this team, the youth of the core.”

On Paul Maurice…

“Paul had a good opportunity to look under the hood, to look at the people and see who they were and who they are all about and what we needed to do moving forward. We have had some good discussions about that.”

“When we sat back and looked at the team and moving forward it was his enthusiasm and excitement about the group and the people that he is working with and the staff that he is working with that, again, really showed his true feelings. When it came down to doing a deal, that was a relatively easy part.”

“The players are extremely excited to play for Paul Maurice. He made a real tremendous impact form the moment he walked in and we are just scratching the surface on the impact he can make on this franchise moving forward.”

 

Chevy says the Jets will look to expand the core if they can. PHOTO JEFF MILLER

Chevy says the Jets will look to expand the core if they can. PHOTO JEFF MILLER

On what the team can take from the 2013-14 season…

“While we didn’t achieve the goal of making the playoffs, there was a lot of growth that happened within this group.”

On what the offseason will hold…

“We will look at all different options but certainly we aren’t going to deviate from the plan of trying to draft, develop and build.”

“If there is a young player in our organization that is ready to make the jump we will look and see if they fit into some of the holes that are there or if they fit into a spot that can maybe create some depth for us that maybe we can make some changes.”

“We have a restricted free agent in Michael Frolik that is certainly someone that we feel has grown into a big part of this organization and we will certainly look at reaching out to his representatives at an appropriate point in time.”

“There are going to have to be some decisions that have to be made on the future of some unrestricted free agents.”

Michael Frolik. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Michael Frolik. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

On Alexander Burmistrov…

“When Alex said he was going to go to Russia we said that he was still certainly apart of our organization and we were going to keep a close eye on his development.”

“It is something, certainly as an organization, that we plan to discuss at the appropriate time. At some point we will have conversations and see where it leads.”

“I think having Paul having experience coaching in Russia, he has a tremendous appreciation and a much better understanding of non-North American players and what they have gone through in their upbringing both on and off the ice.”

On Devin Setoguchi… 

“Obviously, you have to takes some chances. Some of them are going to work out and some of them aren’t and it is something, certainly, that you learn from and you analyze why certain things happen and don’t.”

“With Devin, things didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped or had expected but I think you would say that both ways. That is something you learn from and move on.”

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