So this was the big new out of 1901 W Madison yesterday. The Blackhawks had announced a lot of layoffs and some of that was going to be in the hockey ops department, and I believe specifically in pro scouting. The re-org or shuffle was broken down well by the guys at NBC yesterday. I will go in order.
Most notably, Norm Maciver was demoted from assistant general manager to vice president of player personnel.
This one...I don't know. Which is going to be a common theme. I don't know what is going on in the organization at this point. What I do know is that people who know Norm really respect him as one of the brighter and thoughtful guys in the organization. The other thing that has been told to me is that Norm was somehow not a guy that had Stan's ear despite his longevity and title. They say that Stan relies more on the guys who have a history with his dad.
In addition, it appears three others were moved into part-times roles: Barry Smith, who previously served as the director of player evaluation, and Pierre Gauthier, who previously served as the director of player personnel, are now senior advisors of player personnel
Gauthier and Barry Smith are both Scotty guys and they appear to be on their way out or into reduced roles.
The Blackhawks also made five promotions: Kyle Davidson's title went from assistant to the GM to assistant GM of hockey administration, Mark Eaton went from director of player development to assistant GM of player development, Ryan Stewart went from vice president of pro scouting to assistant GM of pro scouting, Mike Doneghey went from head USA scout to director of player evaluation and recruitment and Rob Facca went from amateur scout to head USA scout.
Ryan Stewart is the most recognizable name to me on the list and he appears to have gotten a nice title bump with this shuffle. I have also heard that he is very tight with Al MacIsaac. Al was very close with John McDonough and remains very close with
Which brings us to the head honcho and what in the fuck is the point of all these title changes? What does it mean? I don't think this is a good sign for the vocal #FireStan crew. I don't believe they'd go through the exercise of reorganizing the entire hockey operations department now if they were simply shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. The hockey operations department who went 12 years without being able to draft an NHL caliber defenseman is staying. The man who signed a 31 year-old aging Seabrook to an 8 year deal at an over-valued price is coming back. The man who traded Saad, Panarin, Danault, Teravainen, Jokiharju and Hjalamarsson and got virtually nothing to show for those assets…he's safe. The guy who has the Blackhawks locked into a salary cap hell while being the 12th best team in the West is gucci. The guy who blamed all of those problems on a coach who deserves a statue and talked about making the playoffs, but then had his roster crater even further…I can't believe it.
The organization is going through a change and I am thrilled that McDonough is gone, but Jay Blunk is still here, Al MacIsaac is still here, and Stan Bowman is still here. That is the John McDonough small council and they're running shit. It'd be like removing Cersei Lannister, but all her shitty advisors are still in charge so what is the point? I'd love to know the motivation for this. I know the Blackhawks are moving into a new and better era with different types of marketing ideas. This is pro sports though and the greatest marketing idea in the history of sports is winning. It is hard to imagine this group which crashed the Ferrari that was the Chicago Blackhawks between 2009-2015 turning things around. Start fresh, new eyes, surround Toews, Kane, and Keith with what they need to win. Max out with those guys and then after that the Hawks are going to be like a lot of other organizations. Chasing the Cup, making the playoffs, but…probably falling short because guys like 19,88, and 2 only come around once in a generation. The longer I write the more frustrated I am getting so I am going simply hit publish and log off.