The Chicago Blackhawks have made it official, removing the interim tag from Kyle Davidson and naming him the tenth general manager in team history. Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz released a statement on the hire:
We have a vision here for the future of Blackhawks hockey and today we are a step closer to that coming together. As an organization, we know we have a lot of work to do on and off the ice and Kyle is the leader we trust to oversee our hockey operations.
The thorough process we undertook affirmed much of what we believed we had in Kyle and he stepped up to lead and make tough decisions during his time in the interim role. He without a doubt met every qualification we were looking for, is passionate about the game and represents the high character across everything we do.
I’d like to thank Jaime and the members of our Advisory Committee for their help in this process. We had several strong candidates; I am confident Kyle is the right answer. I look forward to working with him for years to come and I am excited about what this means for the future of the club.
Davidson, 33, had served as interim GM since Stan Bowman left the organization last October following the investigation into sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich.
Though this appointment comes with huge expectations, not only for the on-ice product but also the off-ice structure, accountability, and public relations of the organization, it is also an incredible rise for an executive that started as an intern with the Blackhawks a little more than a decade ago.
Davidson joined Chicago as an intern in the summer following the 2010 Stanley Cup championship and was hired into the analytics department full-time in 2011. By 2018, he was named assistant general manager.
He now has the daunting task of turning around a once-proud franchise, that has suffered countless losses both on and off the ice over the last year. Transparency and accountability throughout the front office will have to come first, but the on-ice product will also need drastic changes if the Blackhawks want to become a Stanley Cup contender once again. After last summer’s blockbuster acquisitions of Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury, the team has cratered and currently sits 19-27-8 on the season with one of the worst goal differentials in the league.
While the trade deadline will have to be dealt with in the coming weeks, the futures of players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are also hanging in the balance, with each set to become unrestricted free agents following the 2022-23 season.