True North confirms Dudley won’t be the general manager of Winnipeg’s NHL club

WINNIPEG – Rick Dudley won’t be part of the NHL’s return to Winnipeg.

True North Sports and Entertainment confirmed Sunday that it will not retain Dudley’s services as general manager when the Atlanta Thrashers relocate to the Manitoba capital next season.

The company purchased the Thrashers earlier this week and has already met its goal of selling 13,000 season tickets.

Dudley, who was named the Thrashers’ GM in April 2010, had four years remaining on his contract.

“After meeting with Rick Dudley this week, we have decided to go in another direction with the position of general manager of our team,” True North chairman Mark Chipman said in a release. “We informed Rick of our decision late (Saturday) afternoon, and thanked him for his work in building a foundation and future for this team.”

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Craig Heisinger, the general manager of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, is expected to be a key piece of the NHL club’s front office. When sale of the team was announced, Chipman said Heisinger would play a “significant role.”

Chicago Blackhawks assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has also been linked to the club.

True North did not say who will be in attendance on the team’s behalf at the NHL’s GM meetings in Boston on Wednesday.