The Chicago Wolves (AHL) have recently just named Wendell Young the franchise’s new General Manager. Previously the Wolves’ goaltending coach, Young succeeds Kevin Cheveldayoff, who was recently appointed assistant general manager of the NHL Chicago Blackhawks.
The Halifax, Nova Scotia native brings a wealth of experience and an impressive collection of championships both as a player and coach. Young has won eight championships including a Memorial Cup (Major Juniors), two Turner Cups (IHL) two Stanley Cups (NHL) and three Calder Cups (AHL.
Originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 1981, Young played ten NHL seasons; with stops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. The new Wolves GM was as a team player and dependable goalie; playing with NHL greats like Tom Barrasso and Mario Lemieux. His career NHL Goals Against Average was 3.94.
During my exclusive interview, Young mentioned that he was an early choice of Wolves owner, Don Levin.
“I’ve had other job offers over the years, but I wanted to stay in Chicago,” Young said. “I love the city. My kids go to school here. Plus, the Chicago Wolves organization is one of the best in hockey; a very supportive hockey family.”
Speaking of family, the Atlanta Thrashers (Wolves parent NHL team) GM Don Waddell had met weeks ago with Young; giving him a stamp of approval. Young has worked closely over the years with Thrasher’s head coach (and former Wolves head coach) John Anderson and Thrashers assistant coach (former Wolves assistant coach) Todd Nelson.
Young admitted that stopping a deke shot was his biggest challenge as a goaltender. Don’t expect Young to stumble over many hurdles as Wolves general manager.
The Wolves failed to make the playoffs last year partly due to the revolving door of goaltenders. Shuffling players is a fact of life in the AHL. Look for Young to bring in a goaltending tandem that will make Wolves fans proud. Improved relations with the NHL Chicago Blackhawks will help. So will the winning organizational template set by former Wolves general manager, Kevin Cheveldayoff.
It’s been a great week for Young. On August 1, he celebrated his birthday.
I’m not sure who should celebrate the new Wolves general manager assignment more, Young or Wolves fans.
Other Hockey Notes:
North American Hockey League officials recently toured the Sears Centre in suburban Chicago. The NAHL is one of the premier major junior hockey leagues in the United States. The 11,000 seat arena last hosted regular season hockey when the defunct UHL Chicago Hounds played there. The NAHL staff was impressed with the facility. But can the Chicagoland hockey community support four teams, the Blackhawks, the Wolves, the USHL’s Chicago Steel and possibly an NAHL team?
Congrats to long-time professional roller hockey promoter, Bill Raue. His newest project, Major League Roller Hockey will be featured in an upcoming one hour special on Versus Sports Cable TV Network. The show is scheduled for airing on Saturday, August 29 at 3 pm EST. It will feature Bill’s new competition, SLAMM Hockey, as well as the Pro Tour Championship. This will be the first time in ten years that professional roller hockey has been featured on national television.