The Chicago Blackhawks have sent shockwaves across the hockey world today, announcing that they have “released” John McDonough from his role as team president and CEO. Chairman Rocky Wirtz explained the decision:
Thirteen years ago, I recruited John to the Blackhawks because of his leadership, direction and vision. John brought all of that to the table and more. His contributions went well beyond leading the team to three Stanley Cup Championships. He rebuilt the front office and helped guide the organization toward a winning vision. As difficult as this is, we believe it was the right decision for the future of the organization and its fans.
The club will immediately begin a search to fill the role of team president. Daniel Wirtz, who currently serves as vice president and alternate governor, will serve as president in the interim.
Immediately questions will be raised about the future of Stan Bowman, who took over as general manager in 2009 when Dale Tallon was fired weeks after signing Marian Hossa to a 12-year $63.3MM contract. The Blackhawks have failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2015, causing many fans to believe that the hockey operations should be under new leadership. Change near the top often drips down an organizational chart, meaning there could be further changes in the coming months.
Still, McDonough’s contribution to the Blackhawks should not be overlooked. When he took over as president in 2007 (CEO wouldn’t be added to his title until 2011), the Blackhawks were drawing just over 12,000 fans per game according to Frank Seravalli of TSN. As he leaves, they are currently on a 531-game sellout streak and won the Stanley Cup three times during his tenure.
Just over a month ago, Wirtz told Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription required) that there would be no changes in the front office after a frustrating season. In fact, he went so far as to say “if I wasn’t confident (in McDonough, Bowman and head coach Jeremy Colliton), they wouldn’t be employed. Yeah, I’m very confident.”
Can the Bowmans’ be next?
Now that’s a BOMBSHELL! Maybe @cubfanforever’s Spidey Sense could be tingling if Stan & Scotty are also on or near the chopping block.
Thanks for everything you did with the Hawks when you first came in John, but a change was needed. Bowman should be gone next, and I’m sure a rebuild is now in order for the Hawks
I agree with all said as an avid Blackhawk fan for many years , I knew this shake up was coming , will always root for my Hawks am glad the changes now and in future are coming, Go Hawks!
Can the White Sox please hire him.
how do you release a CEO?
board/owner approval or contract.
The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant
So now will they go back to drawing less fans than the AHL team in Chicago?
@The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant – As G as stated (below, until the replies gets rearranged on this page), the Wolves belong to Vegas (for the time being). And, when talking about the U.C., Rocky Wirtz would have to revert to being infinitely worse than his dad to blow up the fan experience. For the foreseeable future, don’t expect a massive dip in attendance, at least once things get back to semi-normal. They are still the most likely to lead the league in attendance.
Thanks Mac! neo! Stay safe
Lol. Not a chance
You do the same, G!
Errata on my part! I forgot about Vegas already buying San Antonio and moving them to Henderson (OOOF!). The Wolves are (for the time being) independent, but that sounds like it will change in the near future, if Gavin’s report holds true (link to prohockeyrumors.com).
the dreaded vote of confidence strikes again!
“I am so very confident in everything my guy is doing. I will stick with him through thick and thin because I believe in him…and, yes he may as well start cleaning out his office now and update his resume.”
@neo – It’s kinda like we both heard the same sound…the pin being pulled on the ol’ grenade!
Eugene needs a liver transplant respectfully I believe you need to check your figures on attendance history between the Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL Chicago Wolves , so I am enclosing for your confirmation going back to at least 2005-06 seasons the AHL has never outdrawn in attendance, please check these attendance figures that I am humbly sending you, Enjoy!
link to statista.com
link to hockeydb.com
Forgot to mention Chicago Wolves is not a AHL affiliate to the Chicago Blackhawks for sometime Rockford is their AHL affiliate
McDonough was given way too much credit. He took all the praise when the Hawks won the Cups with Tallon’s roster, but when the team went to crap, you never heard from him. You can blame Bowman all you want but he reported to McDonough. McDonough is the President and CEO of the team, it is his responsibility to put a high caliber team on the ice every year. He failed and had no clue how to fix it.
I am glad Rocky finally saw through McDonough’s BS.
He may know marketing, but he does not know how to run a sports franchise.
If Scotty stays, so will Stan.
Nevertheless, still shocking.
Shocked he got fired instead of Bowman had to be something personal between him and Wirtz kid
Chicago sports fan here. I wonder if the same fate is heading toward Theo. Both he and McDonough had great success earlier in their tenures and raised fan and ownership expectations for championships. When recent results failed to meet those raised expectations, ownership makes a change. As fans, we should be grateful that both leaders brought championships to our city and such joy to our fandoms.