When I last spoke with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, he had said that he is yet to be contacted by a team seeking permission to speak with assistant coach Mike Haviland about their head coaching vacancy.
That was last Wednesday after the NHL general managers met in a downtown Boston hotel to discuss Rule 48. (My story from our chat is here.)
"No, but there's a lot of coaching vacancies still out there," Bowman said at the time. "We take those things as they come. Hopefully, [Haviland is] with us because he's a great asset as well."
With former Hawks assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff now in charge of Winnipeg's new NHL franchise, there have been some rumblings that it's only a matter of time before Haviland gets contacted by him.
Cheveldayoff called the Hawks the "gold standard" for organizations in the NHL. But whether he poaches people from them, such as a Haviland, is up in the air. A source said Cheveldayoff will start by looking elsewhere first. But that doesn't mean Haviland won't get an interview at some point if Winnipeg is interested.
Haviland is highly regarded in plenty of NHL circles. He's had a ton of past success. Haviland also handled the Hawks bench when coach Joel Quenneville was hospitalized this season.
For the time being, Cheveldayoff said he has to first decide what to do with former Atlanta Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay, while preparing for entry draft and negotiating with prized restricted free agent Andrew Ladd.
Before bringing in Cheveldayoff, the franchise had already parted ways with GM Rick Dudley. Other members of the Thrashers' staff also weren't retained.
"We have a lot of things to sort out here with a lot of good hockey people that were part of the Atlanta Thrashers organization," Cheveldayoff told the Sun-Times in a phone interview. "Those are decisions that are still in the future, but are things that can happen quickly, which I can attest to. About a week ago, I didn't have an inkling of this and here I am now [in Winnipeg]."