Blackhawks Fire John McDonough

On Monday afternoon, the Blackhawks dropped a bomb.

The Hawks announced the team has released John McDonough from his roles as President and CEO of the organization.

McDonough was hired as President of the team in 2007, and the role of CEO was added to his title four years later. According to the release, “[Rocky] Wirtz cited the COVID-19 crisis and the league suspension as an opportunity to reassess the team’s future and to set a renewed positive direction for the organization.”

Also according to the release, Daniel Wirtz will serve as the team’s interim President. Danny Wirtz, 43, was the Vice President of the Chicago Blackhawks and alternate Governor to the NHL.

This sounds like no job is safe at the United Center. Many fans have been asking for significant change, and the first huge step just happened.

54 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fire John McDonough

  1. Never a fan of his. Blowman better be known he is next to get the 86. Blowman must give good head to upper management to keep his job same with the Mark Kelly tool.

  2. Great news it is about time. He came in and won on the success that Talon was building and built. He knew nothing about hockey he had to much influence on what happened on the ice. Marketing he was good at hockey opps he sucked and that made the Blackhawks suck in the last three years. Never should have fired Q. We need a former hockey player with a high hockey IQ to take the reigns and salvage what’s left of the Hawks.

  3. Honestly can’t say how much or how little McD has contributed to the recent struggles. What I can say is that replacing the real reasons for their recent struggles will be much easier to do as the new Pres/CEO can bring in his own GM and coach. Rocky just took the heat off himself, which is ok…

  4. i have a reason to live. christmas in april.

    rocky finally grew a pair. no mistakes now.

    1) hire an experienced hockey man to be vp in charge of all player related matters
    2) new vp replaces bowman with a gm who has the same mindset for the future
    3) new vp and new gm hire like minded coach, his staff, and minor league staff. one system throughout the organization.
    4) hire a capologist who has the power to put the brakes on moves that are not cap responsible
    5) entire review of pro scouting, amateur scouting, and european scouting
    6) no sacred cows. explore trades for every player. winning sells seats…..not the name and number of the player on back of the sweater.

    GO HAWKS. i have been asking for this for three years.

  5. First thing the new wonks should do is try to lure Buff back to the windy city i know i know, its just impossible, but stranger things have happened

  6. I hate doing this, but….

    re: bye bye Bowman’s post: the “VP in charge of all player related matters” is called the General Manager. A VP doesn’t hire another VP; Bowman is currently a Vice President.

    Furthermore, I do not think the next hire absolutely positively has to be a “hockey guy.” The coming years are going to be a mess on the business side of professional sports as we come out of the pandemic and I would prefer there’s a guy in charge who understands money more than line groupings; let the GM and the coach worry about the personnel on the ice. Make the team profitable so they can afford to stay relevant.

  7. A decision like this probably isn’t made over the course of a week or two, but I can’t help but wonder if the Wirtz family has been watching the Last Dance..and if so, if maybe they began to think about the legacy of their championship window team..Toews, Kane, and Keith have three more years left on their current deals (after this current season is finished, if it isn’t already finished)..I wonder if Wirtz got tired of the same thing a lot of the fans got tired of, watching a team over the last few years that you knew couldn’t win a cup..I think this is only the first of a few moves..I think Stan and Jeremy are next. He knows with a smart draft and upcoming off season, he might get one more cup run over the next three seasons and he doesn’t want to leave whether he gets one or not up to Bowman and Colliton..

  8. Get a hockey president who knows hockey to oversee the new GM position. Give that person a marketing assistant to take care of the business side of things.
    Thus, all this means nothing if there is no upgrade at GM, coach and head scout.

  9. “Give that person a marketing assistant to take care of the business side of things.”

    Dear lord even by Hull standards that’s next level stupid….

  10. Agreed, Tab…I was just explaining to my wife that my understanding is that a President runs the business while the GM runs the hockey team. I had heard that McD liked to mess with the hockey decisions tho, which may have been a factor in not being able to get good hockey people to commit to the Indian as they say…

  11. They may decide to get a business leader and GM who are peers on the org chart reporting to Rocky. Things will be interesting now.

  12. Good point, Espo. There may separate the a President of Hockey Operations and CEO roles. I would argue they should – esp considering the economic impact of COVID-19 is going to be felt for a few years financially by professional sports teams/leagues.

  13. I yelled out loud when I heard this on my car radio on the drive home from work. This is a good start to things.

    I never liked it one bit when Rocky said that McDonough and Blunk brought the plan to fire Quenneville to him. I give McDonough TONS of credit for the marketing job he did for the Blackhawks and building the brand. I’ve had suspicions that he had say in the personnel and I never thought he was a good guy for that.

    Keep going, Wirtz family. There is always risk with change, and yes, maybe some things we don’t want. But this mess that’s been going in this year has to be dealt with.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  14. I’ve been critical of McDonough having too much influence on the hockey side of things. But he did get the Hawks back on TV. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Hawks do something like the Cubs did with Crane Kenney and Theo. Essentially 2 entities working in unison. Hockey helps business. Business helps hockey.

  15. So Mcdonot was hard to work for, is it a surprise Tallon was fired so quickly , he wasnt the type to kiss a// same with Q

  16. I’ll second every one else – good news – I too think he had a hand in some hockey decisions he had no business having a hand in

    Good for Rocky – McD was his golden boy when he first hired him so it must have been a tough decision for him to fire him

    The better news would be splitting the VP Hockey Ops and CEO roles to two people and get a qualified hockey guy in and a qualified business guy as well

    Whatever they do I’m not sure this means SB and JC are goners – I could see whoever comes in as giving it a year to play out for SN and JC to prove their worth – I could be wrong and I’m not even saying that’s my preference but it is often the way these things play out

  17. Rend to agree Tab somebody to look after office issues in next few years of what is likely financial hell for a leagye as a whole could be more at play here, than anything to do with addressing on ice issues. Next move will say alot more tgan this one does about where this is headed.

  18. Rocky finally kept his word. No playoffs No jobs! Now, it’s time to get rid of Moe and Larry! I’ve said this before, if you have traded a superstar like Panarin for no reason, you should not be a GM in the NHL. Colliton is over-matched and not respected by his team. Please get some real hockey men Running hockey and business people running the business side of the corporation.

  19. Then it begins.

    April 27, 2020 at 4:36 pm
    TIM W.
    April 27, 2020 at 4:47 pm
    And the purge begins!Great start Rocky!
    April 27, 2020 at 4:50 pm
    Wow is right Craig
    April 27, 2020 at 4:54 pm

  20. I always thought McDonut got too much credit. He was hired at the dawn of the Kane & Toews era, a team that would be easy to market. As for putting the home games on TV…that was something long time Hawks fans thought should have been done in 1965. Hopefully more changes coming.

  21. This firing really raises the question of how much power over the franchise did Kim Jong Un really have. And I think we can all agree now that the answer to that question is “substantial.”

  22. Holy shht, were back to Buff again. I thought we were moving forward to adjust/adapt to ‘new’ NHL organization/gm/team system/players wise.

    The Wirtz reset begins.

  23. It’s ALL about accountability- smarter guys on this forum have shared the detailed steps, choices and decisions that the organization (McDonut and Blowman) have made since 2010. Their JOB was to leverage the wins/cups to gain assets to drive the organization forward ( vis a vis what Penguins have done!) to be competitive and “in the hunt” year after year! They failed at that, and THAT’S where accountability comes in. Good job Rocky- now do the RIGHT thing and continue the purge, then hire competent, driven and knowledgeable executives. Be clear about expectations- and hold them accountable. We, the fans, deserve it!

  24. Pleased beyond belief that Rocky finally jettisoned John McMarketing. Bothered me completely that we let him into the room to see the big board. He knows nothing of hockey and shouldn’t have been allowed to preside over any of the hockey operation.

    Mike Babcock, your table is nearly ready in Chicago.

  25. I 10000% love what McD brought here at the beginning of his tenure: he made a dying franchise relevant again. Whatever you think of him now, you *cannot* discount the fact that he is a marketing genius and helped create revenue. That’s what a good businessman does.
    Let’s get real, boys & girls: the 2007-2010 fan explosion and three Cups don’t exist if it weren’t for John.
    While most of us here are hockey nerds & love the game come hell or high water– he made our team relevant to the casual Chicago sports fan.
    Whether we die-hards like it or not, that means butts in seats–and equals money, money, money.
    Rocky is a businessman who happens to own a hockey franchise (among others) He likes money, remember? -his last name is Wirtz.
    I’m just guessing here, but I think John’s notorious stubborness got the best of him in this. While some are quick to say “good riddance” we have to look big picture.
    I’m in the boat with those that say a hockey guy is not necessarily the answer here–no one knows how sports will play out as this pandemic goes, and the answer is bigger than “get a hockey guy”.

    HE’S DONE.
    that is all.

  26. I’m late to the party with my WOW. Is there anything to read into the fact that another Wirtz was named interim President? Hopefully this doesn’t become a family affair.

  27. Fwiw, it looks like with Danny Wirtz coming on that the Hawks will be splitting the company in two. I doubt Danny would have anything to do with the hockey side of things. He’s a business man. A very smart business man. He might have a say in the hiring/firing of a coach/gm/vp of hockey ops. But as far as who’s signed traded or drafted he’s smart enough to know that’s not his forte.

  28. I agree on “NO” to Mike Babcock. Nothing but mind games with his players. Not the coach for a rebuilding and young team.

  29. Never understood why a Marketing person was given the responsibility to make hockey decisions. .I don’t care how many cups the Hawks won , he had least to do with that.. Stan and the whole scouting system have to be replaced , pronto , do not give them another draft to pooch.

  30. And please stop with the bring Buff back posts , the Hawks already have an old , slow , injured , over priced D-man. His name is Seabs. , enough said!!

  31. Babcock needs about two or three years to reset his frame of mind and realize we’re in the second decade of the 21st century-not 1995.

    Many better options for the Hawks if they don’t keep Culliton (see below)

    I hope Stan is gone before too long-it’s time. New GM with new freedom.
    I’m glad this happened. (but thanks for the Cups!)

  32. McDonough was President and Ceo, likely name a President to oversee hockey end of things and Danny Wirtz take the Ceo part of it. Be interesting to see who is chosen.

  33. Darcy F’ing Rota-is it you?…or just a great handle. I loved your grit… I remember at the old stadium you skating slowly 200 ft on a bee line to repay a guy. It was beautiful. I don’t want Buff to play anymore with anyone. I’d sign him for one game one shift …just to have him feel the love-he must have his reasons for not wanting to play. Turgidson-I think China is invading our bodily fluids. Stef-nice post. Tab- nice posts albeit “ brutal”!!!! I do agree.. a little hard on Buff though.

  34. @Tim 2

    It’s just my handle , but I was a huge fan as a kid , he was that eras Andrew Ladd…I was pissed when the Hawks traded him.. Wish we could draft someone like him , but that would require real talent evaluators , of which the Hawks have none.

  35. Great handle-Rita. Remember Dave Logan from those days? Same deal. Logan spent his summers chopping trees with an axe to get ready for the season. Man….!

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