Episode 4

Published on:

13th Feb 2024

EP 4 Flying Under the Radar with Kevin Cheveldayoff

In episode four, they discuss the unexpected success of teams like the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers, analyze the polarizing career of player Brad Marchand, delve into the significance of backup goaltenders, and examine the strategic decision-making process in team management, especially with the impending trade deadline. 

The episode also features a segment titled "Winterpeg" where they interview Kevin Cheveldayoff, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets, discussing the team's performance during a recent slump, the impact of player acquisitions like Elias Lindholm, and the strategic blueprint for potential moves involving players like Guentzel, Tanev, Hanafin, and Henrique. The hosts also touch on the decision to keep Bowness and re-sign Hellebuyck and Scheifele during a rebuild.

The segment then transitions to the "Anatomy of handing out supplemental discipline," exploring the factors and considerations involved in making decisions on player discipline.

The Human Side of the Story, includes Vic's reflection on Rendez-Vous '87, featuring Connal, Mees, Sacks, and Saunders. Neil shares a camp counselor story involving Jimmy Hughes.


  • [01:39] Teams causing trouble in the East
  • [03:00] Updated playoff projections
  • [03:21] Brad Marchand's 1000th game and career 
  • [06:09] Impact of backup goaltenders
  • [11:00] Historical playoff goaltending trends
  • [14:03] Introduction of Kevin Cheveldayoff GM of the Winnipeg Jets
  • [16:39]Cheveldayoff's experience with Butch Goring
  • [17:06] Winnipeg Jets' performance and Sean Monahan acquisition
  • [26:39] Cheveldayoff discusses the emotional aspect of playoffs
  • [27:18] Loss of key players due to injuries in the playoffs
  • [28:39] Decision to part ways with Blake Wheeler and transition leadership to Adam Lowry
  • [29:10] Trade and signaling commitment to pushing the team forward
  • [33:21] Discussion about a recent incident in the Ottawa-Toronto game
  • [39:39] Human Side of the Story Vic Mention of Rendezvous 87 and a personal reflection on colleagues
  • [41:56] Neil shares his camp counselor experience with Jimmy Hughes and years of friendship.


  • The surprising performance of the Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers is causing havoc for other playoff contenders.
  • The impact of backup goaltenders in the NHL is a current trend that may change the role of franchise goalies in winning the Stanley Cup.
  • Kevin Cheveldayoff shares insights into team management and the challenges faced as a general manager.
  • Neil Smith reflects on past experiences and the impact of his mentorship on the success of NHL players like the Hughes brothers.


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Kevin A. Cheveldayoff (born February 4, 1970), nicknamed "Chevy", is a Canadian ice hockey executive and former player who is currently the executive vice president and general manager of the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League.

Cheveldayoff played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League. He was drafted in the first round, 16th overall, by the New York Islanders in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He played five seasons in the minor leagues, most notably with the Capital District Islanders of the American Hockey League, having had his career cut short by a knee injury. He never played a game in the NHL.

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About the Podcast

NHL Wraparound Podcast
Neil Smith & Vic Morren
Breadth and depth.
Contemporary and historical.
Straight-forward and experienced.
The NHL Wraparound podcast features Neil Smith, President-General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers and longtime ESPN/NHL veteran Vic Morren sharing no-nonsense opinions on news and issues around the National Hockey League.

Bringing decades of experience from their respective fields, Smith and Morren create a unique partnership that examines the NHL from multiple perspectives. Additionally, as hockey historians, the pair can delve into any topic in today’s game and enlighten the audience with connections to events from previous years. To truly appreciate where hockey stands today, one needs to understand its past.

With 2024 marking the 30th anniversary of the Rangers last championship season, a special five-part series is planned to commemorate that magical run. Expect fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and special guests with particular focus on the GM who pushed all of his chips into the middle of the table amidst the most pressurized environments – and came out on top.

Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned fan, each episode of NHL Wraparound will leave you entertained and informed.

Neil S. Smith, highly regarded NHL executive, served as the President and General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers. During his eleven years with the team, they achieved significant success, including three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, one Eastern Conference Championship, and a historic Stanley Cup victory—the franchise’s first in 54 years.

Known for his expertise in professional sports franchise economics, Smith played a pivotal role in management decisions under four different Rangers owners.. His tenure saw iconic trades and acquisitions, including Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, as well as successful drafts and free-agent signings.

Starting as a pro scout, Smith's career highlights include the impactful 1989 draft for the Detroit Red Wings and bold trades that shaped NHL history. He briefly served as GM for the New York Islanders in 2006, later working as a consultant for the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

A Toronto native, Smith's hockey journey began in junior leagues before a distinguished college career at Western Michigan University. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including induction into the University's Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Vic Morren: Born in New York City close to the Old Madison Square Garden, Vic Morren has had hockey in his blood his entire life as a fan, player and television production manager.

A graduate of William Paterson University, Morren skated for three seasons with the Pioneers hockey club and became the first statistical analyst to apply his craft to telecasts working New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils games from 1984-87. He co-authored two NHL-based statistics books within that span before moving to ESPN in 1987 and working the final season of the original deal the network had with the NHL.
After departing in 1990, Morren worked as a studio producer for SportsChannel America’s NHL coverage and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics before returning to ESPN that fall where he worked all 12 seasons on the second ESPN/NHL deal and the first season of the most recent contract in 2021-22. Morren has also earned a Sports Emmy for his work on Sunday Night Football coverage in 2003.

His relationship with Neil Smith dates back 33 years through their mutual friendship with the late ESPN/ABC commentator John Saunders. Morren looks forward to NHL Wraparound and collaborating with Smith with the goal to provide an experience of contemporary viewpoints, historical spin and an overall enriching podcast experience.