John McDonough

Thank You, John McDonough

Monday, April 27th was not what any hockey fans wanted or expected in Chicago.

The Stanley Cup playoffs should be on television. And, though they haven’t qualified in each of the past two seasons and were out of the picture again this year, Blackhawks fans desperately want to watch their team compete for another championship.

But there are no playoffs – anywhere. The global pandemic has shut down the NHL and everything else. The only new sports television fans have to watch right now has been ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary and this weekend’s NFL Draft. Both have produced record viewership.

The hockey world is standing still. But, on Monday, April 27th, the Blackhawks made a stunning decision.

After 13 remarkable seasons, the organization fired team President and CEO John McDonough.

Just last month, Chairman Rocky Wirtz told Scott Powers at The Athletic that McDonough’s job was safe. Many fans have been calling for change over the past few years, but many expected Stan Bowman to receive his pink slip before McDonough.

Monday’s news was a shocker.

But looking back over 13 years, in spite of the frustration born over the past few seasons it’s impossible to ignore the incredible, enduring legacy McDonough will have at the United Center.

The season before he was hired, the Blackhawks averaged fewer than 13,000 fans per home game. Their home games weren’t on television, the players weren’t known around the city, and it had been years since many hockey fans were excited.

McDonough left the Chicago Cubs after 25 years, joining the Blackhawks on Nov. 20, 2007. Less than two years later – before they won their first of three championships, Forbes called the renaissance of the Blackhawks “The Greatest Sports-Business Turnaround Ever.

The Forbes article was published in May of 2009, 13 months before the Hawks claimed their first Stanley Cup in almost half a century. After taking the job at the United Center, McDonough led the charge to bring the Blackhawks back to prominence not only in Chicago, but the entire hockey world.

He got home games back on television, built bridges to previous generations including Bobby Hull’s return to the fold, and forced those in the marketing department with the team to constantly look for ways to improve the brand. He created the annual Blackhawks Convention, built Blackhawks Stores and merchandised the living daylights out of the team and players, making the players household names.

McDonough got the league to buy his sales pitch almost as quickly as he did fans in Chicago. The Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2009 – a national coming out party for the Toews-Kane generation of players. Outdoor games would become an almost annual event for the Blackhawks, who were one of the best-selling brands in the NHL for the past decade.

McDonough didn’t draft the players. That was done by Dale Tallon’s staff, and then Stan Bowman’s group. McDonough made that change, promoting the man named for the trophy the Hawks were chasing.

But he did sell them – and he sold them better than anyone in the league.

He leaves with the 2019-20 seasons suspended, but the organization that was a laughing stock in front of an empty bard when he arrived is in the midst of a 531-game sellout streak, something fans couldn’t have imagined when McDonough was hired.

So, on behalf of Blackhawks fans everywhere, thank you John McDonough. You weren’t a “hockey guy” when you arrived, but you played a huge role the greatest rebirth in professional sports history.

101 thoughts on “Thank You, John McDonough

  1. it is a sad day. i know that a lot of people here were calling for his head, but given what he accomplished, it is hard to imagine his replacement being able replicate his golden touch.
    would have been nice if he could have been forced to move others below him out instead of being the first to go.

  2. The marketing of the Hawks had to help secure future veteran players choose to play here-players instrumental in winning those 3 cups. So in my evaluation, he helped with player acquisition. They weren’t coming here inspired by Stan Bowman’s inspiring sales pitch, he has none. I have 9 jerseys, 7 after a John arrived. There is a marketing sample. Simply put, he will be missed even more if there are no additional changes made up top. Having Rocky’s son involved smacks of the Arthur And Bill Wirtz dark ages. Best wishes, John.

  3. Tab
    Anybody with an Associate Degree in Marketing could have done the same like McDummy. The Hawks was the laughing stock of the NHL.
    To Give credit to McDummy is a long shot. Rocky had to make it different than Dollar Bill. Without Rocky support this organIzation would be in the dark ages still.
    This is great news. The pieces are falling in place.

  4. goose maverick.

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!

    a marketing degree to sell seats and a basic business course to learn an ops flow chart.
    tens of thousands of executives in this country could have straightened out the office and sold seats to watch these magnificent teams play. and the fact the teams were filled with “real characters “ didn’t hurt.

    good riddance to bad rubbish. bowman and colliton next.

  5. Does this mean no more “one more shift”?!
    The most pathetic marketing effort yet.
    How about a Lamer retire number event instead of Versteeg night.

  6. Good luck to McDonough, see what next move is, could be more telling than this one. Few directions this could go.

  7. Someone lend Bowman a towel so at least he can block the pink slip under the door like Billy Reay got.

  8. Regardless if Bowman and Colliton go or not, a significant tightening of the purse strings and a streamlining of the organization is likely coming from replacement. Expect less not more for a few years. As Tab stated what is happening right now with economy and the fact nobody is signed beyond 22-23 season, refusal to offer long term deals last few seasons, seems to signal a tighter leash on spending.

  9. Wow.
    It amazes me how society today is so quick to dance on the graves of those who turned around a proud franchise from joke to juggernaut.

    Yeah McDonough had his failings and they showed in the past couple years.

    But these same grave dancers today?
    Even money says they were hanging off street signs swilling beer in June 2010, June 2013, and June 2015.

    So please continue to dance on graves.
    You are very good at it, and you prove society is headed south.

    As for me? Thank you McDonough for helping me see not one, not two, but three Stanley Cup victories.

    As a Hawk fan since 1968, I am extremely grateful.

    You did goid.

  10. Wondering why no one was posting in the other thread since 5pm.

    I posted over in that thread that it seems to be people here/and elsewhere that think we cant win another Cup, no matter what in next 25 yrs. Thats the feel from these posts. That even if we traded 19 88 2 and got good returns still cant because its hard to win and things.

    I know poeple wont change there minds on that/other, like I wont. I believe we win again, prob before 19 88 retire/and maybe before 2 does.

  11. Yes yes. Very proud of organization Mcdunough Bowman and crew Q and all the coaches.

    We were the only team to achieve a dynasty and these guys did, and the players, and the fans. That wont ever change, as I highly doubt any team has a dynasty again for a very long time.

  12. Now is the time to load up the young wave, keep 19 88, and have a good team system and a new identity.

    The ‘new’ NHL is already there. Now we need to join it with proper team system and young players wave and good ufa/trades players.

  13. Yea I read other day they were talking about draft rinks and something about a June draft. Anyone got anything else on draft info.

  14. Mo, Daly said interview that vitrual draft like Nfl just had in june before hockey resumes is being looked at.

    Jordy agree if hiring a new Gm too, it definitely needs to be before the draft.

  15. I am not convinced Bowman and Colliton will go. Think of Bowmans comments this retool will take longer than thought. Also said when asked about if he would discuss it with Kane and Toews, that he doesn’t talk to them about their performance after games, he doesn’t have to discuss with them how he does his job, and basically they have a contract if they want to stay and be part of it. When Kane asked about where team is going, he said would have to call McDonough after season is over and talk about it. Could’ve been an indication of differences in how to run team and just maybe Bowman ends up with more control, even if just over on ice issues instead of less.

  16. What ever happens next, we have another 24 mths before were deep/HHNL deep again, we have some time.

    Getting two moar top 5 skill draft players might be best thing for us. So keeping the same system and other things might be good. Then when entire young wave is ready lets roll.

  17. Interesting he said when Kaner asked ask Mcdonough and this is first move.

    I would imagine 19 88 last the longest of everyone and are the only ones, with Wirtz, that gets 4 Cups.

    Contracts or not, Batman and Robin are the reason we won a dynasty and that has to be rewarded. We could have won one or so Cups without them, but not a dynasty. 7 2 81 10 72 could have won one Cup or so. It takes a 19 and 88, having both to get a dynasty.

  18. Anyways glad Wirtz started the reset and the rest will follow over the next 24 mths. Thats when were really ready roster wise.

    Going to get excited about the draft because now we know the wheels have been put into motion and rest will take care of itself.

    Were going to get back to top 5 roster and this draft is important for loading young wave.

    I like adding that TB player, anyway we can get him, do it.

  19. Ian, so draft basically same wknd as usual. What was the date for that anyways, 4th wk of June?

    Funny thing there wont be any boos at this draft.

  20. Mo don’t see 19 or 88 going anywhere for a summer or 2 all things happening around salary cap/ revenues right now and young D having chance to play and learn from Keith, may not want him moving if he wants to stay. Could see maybe Crawford not signed, Shaw and Seabrook finishing careers on ltir type moves. Lesser players moved like Maatta, and Dehaan if can stay healthy, if not ltir too likely. Maybe Smith but if needing to fill him with equal or higher caphit may just keep and with Entwistle have 2 bigger 4th line grinders on wings with grit. If Strome and maybe other rfas don’t sign the deal they want to give them, have some movement there. Doubt you see any big ufa signings for awhile, likely take a step back there, but opt for some young long term control talent in trades if possible. Move ahead that way with good drafts.

  21. A bit of revisionist history being placed with this McDonough obituary.The games were already on television before he got here.It was one of Rocky Wirtz,s first moves.The players that the Hawks added for Cup runs were a lot of deadline trades so those players did not have a choice.Does anybody really think that Marion Hossa chose to come to Chicago because of McDonough?The core was drafted by the Hawks.They did not come or stay here because of McDonough.GOOSE and BYE BYE BOWMAN,you are both right on the money.He was a marketing guy who put a new fax and copy machine in the front office and hired a few secretaries.Any office manager and marketing executive could have done the same.He was not a Hockey Guy when he got to the Hawks and he was not a Hockey Guy when he was asked to leave the Hawks.That part of the obituary I will agree with.

  22. If I were Bowman and Colliton I would start lining up moving companies and have my realtor on speed dial.

  23. Tim W time will tell but just from some comments made, i get the feeling as Big Indian mentioned different times. McDonough had a lot more say in on ice issues then peo0le realized and there a difference of opinion on how this retool should move forward and Bowmam won out, for now anyways. Plus quite possibly the Wirtz family disagreed with his vision around off ice business going forward and somebody will be brought in to get the franchise through what will be a tough next few years.

  24. What do any of us know? But we look at the evidence and the evidence suggests that something went awry in the past 5 weeks. Maybe Rocky did re-evaluate his earlier vote of confidence, but that is doubtful. Something must have happened. “Irreconcilable differences.” Bowman and Colliton are probably safe.

    McD is an annoying guy. But he wasn’t nearly as annoying when the Cup was being paraded through the city to the delight of millions on 3 different occasions. The store on Michigan Avenue is awesome. You can pose virtually for pictures with the player of your choice and it is great fun.

    Who knows how much he had to do with the Cups? But the web site with behind the scenes videos of stuff that players would do on their off days, visiting schools and hospitals and all was great theater and made it fun to pull for these guys. They seemed like genuinely good guys. When you couple a great team that has some photogenic guys with great marketing (some seem to deride the marketing – but it added to the experience), it doesn’t get much better and we had it really good for a bunch of McD’s 13 seasons. It was a convergence of things all going right at the same time and it’s hard to know whom to give the credit. If you need to dole out credit you really can’t with any precision. It was a combination of McD, Rocky, Bowman, Talon, Q and great players.

  25. Ian/Tim/Big Indian, thats what I am thinking. on that stuff.

    Plus we really donot need any good ufas until were, young wave, ready so this timing of this coronavirus cap could work out very well for us.

    Stoaked for next two drafts.

  26. Talk of moving 19, 88, 2, is simply dumb. The new Hawks need not to be like the ones in the past that let Bobby Hull go at the age of 32 with another 50 goal season. Or trade Savy, Secord, Eddie O, Roenick, Wilson and Larmer. You need to carry a tradition that builds a dynasty even when you don’t win a cup but you are respected by fans and players. And most of the despectful behaviour has come from the arrogant Bowman trading players away and getting nothing in return. In fact, just trading them way and hiding behind the cap issue smoke screen. We still don’t understand the Nick Leddy or Teuvo or Danault trade. The Nick Schmaltz trade. The first trade of Saad when Panarin had just signed a rookie contract. Firing a Hall of fame coach who played hockey. Firing Coach Q’s best friend of the past 50 years!!! The whole atmosphere that Bowman has created is not one like Tallon created, where players attended the funeral of his mother I believe. His arrogance rubs everyone the wrong way and his lack of hockey vision rubs Kane and Toews the wrong way as well. What do you think Coach Q says about Bowman in private?
    McDo, don’t really care about him, he will find another job, he did what he was supposed to do. But the next president cannot by a Wirtz family member, it needs to be a smart and respectable hockey man. Otherwise we will fall back into the Bob Pulford & Bill Wirtz days.
    And just a reminder, what happened when the BULLS let Jerry Krause be arrogant with Jackson, Jordan and Pippen? The Bulls disappeared forever.
    TOEWS and KANE are still young and capable! So is KEITH! The problem remains Stan, Scotty, Jeremy, Mark, Pierre and Mr. Bernard.
    Be safe and stay away from bleach. Drink water!

  27. @ jordy hawk

    low blow on the towel comment.

    i want to believe you are much smarter than to compare anything that idiot arthur wirtz did with how rocky has operated the hawks.

    if you want to compare how “dollar bill” ran the hawks with how his daddy did the job that is another story.

    don’t associate the neanderthal behavior of the father and grandfather with the “rocky era” hawks.

  28. interesting that mc donough was fired when “the last dance” is airing. krause was a guy who wanted to be loved for building two championship eras. mc donough was a guy who demanded credit for what others built.

    the truth is that krause built his team and couldn’t deal with not having more recognition. mc donough advertised the team that others built and demanded recognition for building the team.

    krause was so driven to show the world how wonderful he was that he ended the eras believing he could build another one. unfortunately he failed, but in truth built two eras. jordan and pippen played for both three peat teams. no other player crossed the three peat teams.

    doesn’t mc donough personify everything that a hockey player isn’t? the man who grabs every opportunity to project his image of the guy who leads this franchise? aren’t hockey players the most humble of all professional athletes? when a hockey player is interviewed after being player of the game the first thing out of his mouth is his praise for how easy his teammates made his accomplishments. hockey players don’t tell the world how great they are. not only did mc donough know nothing about hockey, but he didn’t act the part of a hockey guy. did anyone ever read the word “humble” and mc donough in the same sentence? it is a team game and mc donough’s position on this team was office manager, seat salesman, and marketer. mc donough was good at his part, but the performance of the team made the responsibilities of seat salesman and marketer a walk in the park.

    so good bye and good riddance to the office manager and the marketing man with the greatest of fortune to have this franchise fall in his lap and perfect storm his name into the public eye. this was a team ready to win which has been lead by incredible players. it has not been lead by mc donough. he is just the guy wanting the credit. a jerry krause wannabe. krause did build the teams. mc donough built himself. live by the sword, die by the sword mc donough. you wanted credit for the wins so you now get blamed for the last five years and, ergo, the pink slip. if you weren’t such a greedy pig for the lime light it might have been bowman out the door first and you left to sell seats, run the office, and hire the next gm. instead now you get to file for unemployment.

    interesting that in the end krause and mc donough were the victims of their own egos.

  29. Any names that can fill the position or positions to be? We know Hull likes the Hunter brothers.

    I was wondering if anyone from old dynasties would be available. I just think that any person from that era would not be up to speed with today’s hockey. Like a Trottier or so on.

    I’m going to throw in the ring the hat of a Brian Lawton. Has seen all aspects of the game. Was a player, was a player agent and was a GM. Old enough to see and experienced that muscle is and was needed to win and young enough to see that size with speed in a player is needed. Should know and be able to see who has heart to play the game.

    Any other suggestions? Don’t think a Doug Wilson will do any good. Has come close but can’t get over the hump. One of my favorite Hawks player but always wanted him to beat up somebody or stick up for someone. Probably didn’t have to because others were there to do that.

    B Murray thinking too old. Hitchcock same. Do want younger blood and fresh face to the scene. That’s the gamble because of no NHL previous record or NHL experience.

  30. If Coach Q can be fired after what he accomplished here then a front office guy can surely be let go. The real change has to be the vision of the play on the ice. Complete change in philosophy very much needed.

  31. Grave dance grave dance grave dance.

    Were u around in the 70′ when Hull left and the Hawks played to a half empty Stadium?
    Did u see the numerous fights in the corners of the mezzanines during this time period?

    Did u watch a skilled Hawks team trade for Enrico Ciccone when they needed more muscle in the 1990s?

    Did u go to the UC in 2002-03 when u could get blue line glass seats on the street for 10 bucks?

    Sheesh.
    Go thru that then see 3 Cups in 6 years.

    Your grave dancing will seem self embarrassing when u do.

    Thank you McDonough.
    You had your failings and they cost u your job.

    You and the rest of the organization brought long suffering Hawks fans joy after decades of angst.

    Too bad the dumb young grave dancers do not know the humility of losing a job because of performance or the humility of seeing your team get beat. Year after year after year after year after………..

  32. Anyone who truly believes that “Anybody with an Associate Degree in Marketing could have done the same like McDummy” started watching the Blackhawks in 2010 — because of McD

  33. Ian. I agree this firing is the first step and it can go in several directions. IMO if Bowman is still there long term the Hawks will be mediocre at best. I have said this many times on this blog. To me he has no long term vision for this team , and will throw anyone under the bus to save his hide.

  34. Jim, Tab, Jordy agree, the Blackhawks went from worst organization to not only a dynasty on the ice but a first class organization throughout. Belittling McDonoughs contributions in making that happen is just denial.

    Bobby if a hockey man is hired to replace McDonough, then very possible he wants his own Gm, coach team to run things. If a business man is named to replace him then Bowman and Colliton may have gotten an endorsement from Wirtz. Also promotion from within and Bowman moving up is possible also.

  35. Thank you Tab for your ‘bullseye’ post.

    Amazing really if you think about it.
    What kind of moral compass must these people have to demean and denegrate a man during this current pandemic we are all battling?

    Man o man.

  36. Hey Morrison,
    You post a lot of stuff. I confess I do not have the time to read it all.

    But I did catch a blurb where you stated folks think it will be 25 years til another Hawks Cup?

    Why 25?
    Why not 4?
    Why not 7?

    Especially with upper executive change in the air?

    Remember the last time the Hawks had executive change? It was 2007.

    What happened 3 years later?

  37. I have no idea what impact JM had on the on ice success or lack thereof.
    He was in an important position, and the results brought 3 Cups, the first of which I had waited over 40+ years to see. For that he deserves and gets a huge thank you from myself and family.
    Thank you Mr McD and best wishes moving on.

  38. Sheesh.
    Go thru that then see 3 Cups in 6 years.

    Thats a wives tale, it was 4 Cups in 6 yrs.

    Hey Morrison,
    You post a lot of stuff. I confess I do not have the time to read it all.

    I do because if I posted it in one post it would be long sometimes and need to paragraph posts or do 5 posts instead of one long one.

    Plus I am usually reading about 25-50 posts to catch up to waht people posted and responding to some as I go along, so usually its that.

    Funny thing is I talk a lot sometimes and other times not much/silent-which is a little scary.

    To me its a interaction blog not a one post/newspaper add where people make there daily columns.

  39. I was just saying people here are positive and think we will win again. Then you get these posts by some that they make it seem like that or your drinking cool aid and with or without/and good return for 19 88 2 still cant for 25 yrs. Thats the feel from those posts and those people.

    I was just saying prob cant change there minds or mine/others. My thinking is we can win again before 25 yrs and with 19 88 and or 2.

    Whether its hard to win, even when your a top 5/10 team, fine thats true.

    I want us to get back to top 5 roster and having the right kind of players, 19 88 cough and others to go with, were going to win again.

  40. Now McD is free to go replace Buttman, the guy that got the NHL off of ESPN and onto Outdoor Life Network.

  41. What I am hearing, and take this with a grain of salt, but it does make some sense…McDoh was the one who was responsible for the Seabrook contract, the Bickell deal, and a couple of others he forced on Stab. Consequently, this forced Stan to make some stupid deals to get under the cap. But, the Panarin trade was all Stan – just for that huge blunder, he must also be fired. Colliton is still an AHL coach, and we need a successful playoff coach for this group, i.e. Laviolette??

    You hate that people lose their job, but in 2017 Rocky and McDoh said that not making the playoffs was unacceptable and that if it happened again, that changes would be made. This happened for three years since they made that vow. So, it’s about time that a change was made, and let’s hope that the other two get the boot too…it’s time!

  42. Tab-
    Anybody with a “c” average for English could of wrote 100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die——food for thought.

    That said Tab, I’ve seen worst from the Hawks. The Hawks are or still might be going down that path. The ship is sinking and you will need to let go the cargo.

    Rocky has the writing on the wall. Extends to all. If he could fire McDummy who brought him millions and re-establish his family franchise, what makes you think, Blowman, Kelly, JC, Toews, Kane, Keith or anybody is safe. loyalty left when McDummy got fired.

  43. Q might of been responsible of some of Blowmans contract sighings too.. “ Sign him, we need him”… “whatever it takes”…. We Don’t know…. Lets see who gets hired and how this all plays out… And for the record… In 2010 Blackhawk season as with the 1984 Bears season… ANY of us could of been the coach… Team was stacked.

  44. Goose,
    If u saw the Hawks at the end of the 1970’s then u could say you have seen worse.

    If you saw 3500 people in the stands for a 2003 Hawks/Avs game, u could say u have seen worse.

    Take it easy, man.
    Be nice. We are all battling something greater than us right now.

    McD did good.
    Having been a fan since 1968, I never thought I would see one Cup, let alone three……………on TV even!

    If ur old enough, u remember going to theaters around Chicago to watch closed circuit telecasts of playoff games cuz u could not see the Hawks home playoff games on TV.

    Use that for your perspective.
    McD played a big role that, and making the Four Feathers relevant again.

    Yeah deserved to get the axe, but holy hell!
    Don’t denegrate the man for losing his job.
    That is happening all over the country now, and people are suffering.

    So please be cool.

    Peace out.
    Power to Steve Vai.

  45. Boys- my reading of Bownhead is-vindictive, entitled ( my dad is Scotty)…a pretender. IF Kane ever voices criticism of Bowman “royalty”… watch out Kaner-you ( in my opinion the greatest Hawk of all time) may find yourself traded. Bowman will do it & not tell you. You’ll find out from Panarin, & Bowman’s “spin” publicists & “ captive” sports writers will herald the trade as brilliant, forward thinking. Wirtz- get rid of this guy before he wrecks the team… irretrievably!

  46. Bowman usually very active trying to sign European free agents this time of year, seems oddly quiet on that front while other teams aren’t this spring.

  47. Prob knows there isint any there that might be worth it this yr. Think about how many good/and ok ones we got from Euro the last so many yrs.

    Arnt our Euro scouts very good.

  48. When things don’t go well in many aspects of life following a period of time when there are no worries or concerns, the blame game begins in some way, shape, or form. Sports can be looked at as a metaphor for life. It cycles around and finishes with what have you done for me lately, even if a positive course had trended for a long time. John McDonough fits in quite well with this scenario.

    He came to a drifting, sleepy Hawks organization as a successful marketing guy from the Cubs. He brought lots of positive energy and attitude to the Hawks front office. He was able to help spark a growth in the fan base that happily jumped on board when the team started winning. It was an incredible thing to watch develop.
    and for millions it became cool to be a Hawks fan. McD marketed the players and the Hawks brand. People wanted to sport the Indian Head because they identified with the successful team. Hawks became a first class organization in all respects. Players were eating well, stayed in 1st class hotels, flew in their own plane, team doctors traveled with the team. It’s a long and impressive list. If you played for the Hawks it was 1st class all the way. John McDonough helped raise that bar and he deserves much credit.

    It’s all well and fine to have “One Goal”, until that goal starts getting further in the rear view mirror. Actually, the NHL wants it that way, hence the salary cap that eventually punishes teams for being successful. There is in my opinion plenty of blame to go around for the present state this team finds itself, but it has already been noted by other posters. While John McDonough was the guy in charge, it is Stan Bowman that puts players on the ice for the coach to play. It’s hard to win a horse race when the horses don’t run well. Bowman should be on the hot seat now in a big way, and so should Colliton.

    John McDonough wasn’t a hockey guy, although he was passionate about the game and his desire to help make the Hawks a winner. In that he was successful with 3 Cups won(should have been 4) in a very short period of time. Can’t take that off of his resume. His successor should be a knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate person who knows the game. That person will be inheriting a machine that needs a good tune up, and some new parts to let it work at peak performance.

    While I was attending a Hawks road game back in 2011, I happened to somehow first meet John McDonough in Toronto at the hotel bar where the Hawks were staying. I was flattered he would spend time to talk with me, but he was relaxed and seemed to enjoy the conversation. The same thing happened a few more times just by chance when I was at a road game. He was always friendly. In that sense I kind of feel bad for the guy. We all know that when the blame game begins it usually starts at the top. So McD is the second pin to fall following Q of course.

    I hope Rocky gets it right with his replacement, and that further changes are made off and on the ice to help bring this proud franchise back in contention for another championship run. This a big project.

    Tanks to John McDonough for all he did to help make the Hawks relevant and successful.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  49. The perfect post.
    Thank you Phil.

    Do you remember a forward the Hawks had in the late 70’s early 80’s named Alain Daigle?

  50. Phil- totally agree. Can’t discredit McD’s marketing direction- Hawks image flourished, cup winning became a habit, fan base became best ever. Give him all that.
    Issue is what was done with that wonderful leverage opportunity having won 3 Cups in 5 years? Drafting, trading, signing, scouting, developing- the nuts and bolts of running a hockey team- was left to incompetence. Today, Hawks ( and us, the fans) are paying the price of mud management. If, as president, you were accountable for having a competent GM rebuilding/strengthening the team- you failed miserably. Please, let’s start the rebuild- continuing from the top down… and Babcock is NOT the answer!

  51. Phil great post couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope whatever else comes of this, they get it right for the franchise. Not hoping for Babcock either, think his time has passed.

    Mo seems kinda of coincidence as active as Bowman has been in Europe this is the season he doesn’t see value there. Outside of some elcs that organization would want under contract and a couple of minimum salary depth extensions he has been quiet. Really since extending Debrincat only moving a couple of players who obviously weren’t in future plans at tdl and Perlini, has been only other moves. Seems like his leash is pretty short right now.

    Jim i remember Daigle, mostly as the 1st guy to wear no. 17 regularly for awhile atfter Wharram retired, a big thing at the time.

  52. Kenny Wharram.
    Huge flashback.
    2nd edition of the Scooter Line.

    Alain Daigle.
    Before helmets.
    The only guy I ever saw take a shift, not touch the puck, go back to the bench and comb his hair.

    To this day that still astounds me.

  53. Jim if you go on u tube, there is a game from late 67-68 season between Leafs and Blackhawks. The 2nd scooter line had a big day and Jack Norris of THAT trade playing one of his few and probably best game for the Blackhawks. The Pilote for Pappin trade would happen just after that season ended. That’s a good example of trading an aging star, Pilote played one more year for Leafs and Pappin with Martin and D Hull became the top line of the 70s. Actually i believe had it not been that the scooter lines of the 60s and Savard, Larmer and Secord line of the 80s bookending them so to speak, that line would get alot more recognition of how good they were.

  54. Stan is GM Due to McDonut hired Scotty Bowman as his Hockey “Engineer” to lean on as he know nothing about Hockey… One of the conditions was Stanley becoming GM… TALLON screws up in few contracts WITH STANLEY AS ASST GM… and Only Tallon gets bounced ? WHY didn’t Stanley catch it ? (mistakes)

  55. Phil- I enjoyed your lengthy post. It read like a David Foster Wallace novel ( no Phil- I am not being facetious) Maybe McD was personable & deserves some credit. Maybe Bye Bye has it right about McD. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between. Stef gave McD a lot of kudos. What is universal by the boys ( & girl) on these posts is- Bownhead & Colliton “ have” to go.

  56. Well all this has been fun boys and girls.

    Signing out now until the next shoe drops.

    Hopefully it is the one we all want.

    Peace out.
    Gilles Marotte.

  57. I like the idea of Doug Wilson because he is a smart and classy person, a great player and GM with no ego. What do McDo and Stan have in common? Big egos and never played hockey! But, knowing Wilson and what he witnessed when Bill Wirtz was running the team, he probably is very happy in San Jose.
    Both 24 and 28 should be retired by the way (even though I don’t believe jerseys should be retired). Like in soccer, wearing nunber 10 is an honour! It should be the same with number 9 or 35 or 18 or 88!!!
    Anyway, It’s a shame that the front office in Chicago remains the same as it always was, dysfunctional. Stan and McDo want credit for a team they inherited. McDo gave Scotty a job by promising the old man that his geek son would become the GM…thus pushing aside real hockey men like Dale Tallon and Rick Dudley (both who built Cup teams in Chicago and the other in Tampa). They pin the fax machine contracts on Dale while we know the assistant GM..the so called accountant was responsible for it. We know Coach Q hated Stan and for good reason! (Kunitz, Bouma, Franson, Tootoo, etc…)
    And then I hear from some fans that McDo wanted the Panarin trade? And Coach Q finding out on draft day about the Panarin and Hammer trades, leaving the draft table fuming to go home?
    Really, so I guess Stan is the puppet for both his dad and McDo? All I remember is how arrogantly Stan warned other teams that they will have a hard time signing Panarin, that it was not worth the headache? Really, well, Columbus makes playoffs both seasons he is there and the Rangers were sniffing closer that the Hawks for a playoff birth Mr. Bowman!!! How much money did you make the Wirtz family lose the last 3 seasons. And was it McDO who wanted Coach Q out? I don’t think so. We all know Coach Q did not appreciate Barry Smith showing up one day out of the blue to help the PP? Where did that come from? Oh yeah, “hey son, I want Barry on the ice for practice tomorrow, do as I say” . This is all sooooooo dysfunctional. I was not a fan of McDO arrogance all though he may have saved Kane from the cops a few seasons ago. I like what he did with bringing back Hull, Savard, Espo and Makita. But, bad trades and firing a coach and his best friend is arrogantly shamefull.
    Meanwhile, 19, 88, 2, 7, 50 are giving their souls for the fans and team. The real firing should be of Bowman. That Panarin trade, Hammer, Kitchen, a team that finished 1st overall, and the firing of a legendary coach was all Bowman’s smoke screen scapegoat routine. But to top it off, he hires a horrible defensive minded coach with no NHL experience or CHL or NCAA? 2nd Div. Swedish league…serioulsy, what an insult!
    Has he seen 2010, 2013, and 2015?
    Whatever happens, this does not smell good. And if 19, 88, 2, 7, & 50 are let go, mark my words, HAWKS don’t sniff the playoffs for two decades…. Dach is a good player with good potential but the great ones produce the first year and those lead you to the promised land…just like 19 and 88 did…or Crosby and Ovi…
    Generational players come every 20 years or so. Ask the BULLS!
    Be safe!

  58. Phil, yea I feel that to. When were there in the movement and talking drinking with the dudes its us and the guys. Anyone else should tuck tall and run to be nice to face and talk flatlander. We/those who really are bleed blue and white. Which means when I was there in 2013 and 2015 and talked to Wirtz and said hey man, ‘hows it going, eh” he looked at me and thought wtf, I said it and had the look of the strange brew guys. Then he realized waht I was saying. Took a sec.

    Thing is I told it how it was and he naturally didnt know for a sec., then did. He understood I was a hockey dude. From the great white north.

  59. Ian. Very observant post at 10:54 pm. I was told that the Hawks did not sign Ryan Shea because they have “a surprise” in mind. When on pressed on who, I was rebuffed. To be honest I have no idea what that means. Are they going to sign some obscure prospect? That hardly qualifies as a surprise? No way on Byfuglien.

    Then the McDonough stuff happened and honestly you cannot get anybody to tell you that the grass is green or the sky is blue. Deadly quiet. Bunker mentality.

    Wish I had more.

    Player speculation is totally on hold.

  60. I believe that Marketing and Hockey Operations have to be distinctly separated going forward.The team that McDonough has in place now running the marketing should be on a short leash but mainly kept in place until operations post pandemic get back to normal.Then see what fresh ideas materialize as we trash the One Goal and the Last Shift Campaigns.This team needs a Team President with a very strong Hockey background to bring in his General Manager who in turn assembles his coaching staff and philosophy system wise. Be honest with the fan base.Most are diehard fans who know when they are being deceived.Would love to see a combo of Darryl Sutter and Ken Hitchcock take the operational reigns here with Peter Laviolette as Head Coach.Or Dale Hunter and his crew as part of Hockey Operations would be exciting.

  61. People are questioning 19 88 skills from 33-40 age and then want Buff.

    We need size with speed not size with speedbumps.

  62. A few comments about how Bowman “seems oddly quiet” re: European free agents right now.

    When you back up for a moment and realize a) we do not have a definite end to the 2019-20 season yet, and b) we’re likely looking at the salary cap either staying put or going down, and c) he still hasn’t dealt w/ Kubalik and/or Strome on an extension… it makes sense that Bowman (and, frankly, every other GM) hasn’t done much by way of signing European free agents. Why would a European free agent sign w/ a team here if they don’t have an assurance that an NHL season will start on time next year? And why would an NHL GM throw money at a Euroeapn GM when he doesn’t know what the cap situation is for next year?

  63. Hopefully Bowman has been neutered and has no authority to make any more player decisions until the new President of Hockey Operations is in place.

  64. Tab, go to cap friendly there is a list of signings. A number of european free agents among them. Linus Sandin, Johannes Kinnvall, Radim Zahorne, Mathais Brome etc those just in last few days. Most are on minimum salary elcs which Bowman traditionally pursues, without impact on salary cap. If any reason not to maybe wanting to avoid more performance bonuses might deter him.

    Signing them for next season has been encouraged so they don’t commit elsewhere for next year, which likely happens if they wait. The league said any elc signings would be for next year and not eligible this year. Must be part of reason Mitchell signing not official yet, may be he is eligible when season resumes again to officially sign and burn a year at that point.

  65. Hull–It’s a tired debate, and one will never win because there are too many variables, opinions-but I think generational is reserved for the cream of the cream-Orr, Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe etc. (just a few more). Crosby and Ovie are close, in on some lists.
    I think it should be a very short list-don’t confuse the generational players, perhaps McDavid?, with the superstars of the game like Toews, Kane, Bossy, Mikita, Roy and Jagr.

    Just my opinion.

    Jordan, LeBron, Magic, ….

  66. Tim W . Your idea about the Dale Hunter crew is a really interesting,I really think that the winning culture of this guy could be a big help for the team and for the fans.
    Not sure if we can have a chance to see This move hapend but it would be a huge change in the hockey world of Chicago . A warrior behind the bench with knowledge and a younger staff could be the change the Hawks needs
    I like the idea but maybe I don’t know hockey enough to really understand the needs at NHL level .
    What I think about the situation is that the NHL ….should ans must cancel the season and get ready for a new season starting around end November with around 55-60 games ..
    Why?
    Because the league would be able to have normal seasons after the 2020-2021 season.
    Not affecting seasons for 2-3 year because the covid19 in this year
    NHL don’t need to impact 2-3 seasons because they want to finish this season …plus I don’t think the players wants to restart in 1-2 months and finish in September with the cup …impacting the next season …finishing the season would be a big mistake,,,a lot bigger then canceling this season . Move on and look at the next season instead
    Just my Opinion
    Love my Hawks
    Hawks2010 The original
    ;)

  67. Hull do 19, 88 and 2 need to stay in Chicago, a big part of me wants to say yes. On the other hand did Howe stay in Detroit, did Orr stay in Boston, did Grtezky stay in Edmonton to many the 3 greatest players ever. As far as sniffing the cup for 2 decades that’s always a possibility regardless of whether core stays or not.

    2010 agree this obsession with finishing this season seems to be a little over the top to me too. If it was 2015 we might see it a bit different too i guess.

  68. 2010, yea they need to suck it up and cancel this season entirely. Your right they cant start the 21 season in JAN after a 1 mth recess. The mid of JUN is 3 mths that is what a usual summer training is.

  69. Datsyuk Kane Mcdavid are the top players of these 40 yrs in my books.

    Overlapping 10 yrs in each 20 yrs careers as being the best player of there 20 yrs.

    Just imagine how much better these players would be if they got the salty east coast bias the pannzys in east get. All I can get.

  70. Ian, at least in 2008-2015 the league was full of ‘real’ top 5 teams. Stacked teams and more of them. Since then the league is watered down so some of these yrs starting in 2016 sort of deosnt even count. Its starting to get better but not there yet as a whole league in general.

    Thats like men on horses attacking the archer boys.

  71. Thats why your seeing the teams that were top 6-10 teams win last few yrs, now that the top 5 teams have been salary capped watered down. PIT WAS STL could not compete nor win against the best teams since the redwings dynasty/and COL teams, in LA BOS ANA CHI.

    Now the whole league is faster and watered down. The bottom 10 teams of yesterdecade are good teams, because they are mostly fast players due to top 10 picks for 5-10 yrs. It will cycle through again, teams like PIT WAS STL will be done for long time with bad farms. Teams like BOS CHI will be back by having off yrs in 15 and 16 for BOS, 18 19 20 21 for CHI, in that getting top 5/10 picks and still have some core players left to play with a HHNL deep roster.

    People can think what they want and the end of the day CHI is the salary cap dynasty team and is reloading like BOS did. Not trading away future like PIT WAS STL are doing to remain a little longer. Going to be nice to see some of our gyus layout Crosby and Malkin when they are 38-40 with clean hits. Telling them to get off the ice and retire or were really going to hit, I mean check, you in your place.

  72. Mo was thinking more about what happens when contracts are up more than i was before then about 19, 88 and 2 if they finish their careers in Chicago or not. Really don’t see any if them traded before then unless they want it themselves.

  73. Boys & Girl (stef)- I sure miss hockey. Due to covid… can we have all the players put on those sumo wrestler bubble suits & play hockey? If Gilbert hit someone, he’d launch them into the cheap seats. I know- I know… I’m getting desperate.

  74. Yea I mean 40 by adding Dyatsuk and Mcdavid to hes 40, there 40 yrs combined. 2000-2040 kind of range. Might not have been exactly 40 yrs total. Not trying to confuse just thats who I like as the top players.

  75. The league is pushing for the draft to be held in June.

    Elliott Friedman and Pierre LeBrun were tweeting about on Friday night. This is from LeBrun :

    “The memo acknowledges that the majority of NHL GMs have indicated a preference to stay with the “status quo” on the draft, meaning post season. But the league makes its case in the memo why a June draft would make sense. League says it will decide next week either way.”

    Here’s the link from Friedman :
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhl-daly-state-case-early-june-draft-memo-sent-teams/

  76. Ian, thats cool man. I just see our guys as accomplishing more overall, a dynasty, and that is honest without colored glasses on.

    I hate DET as much as anyone and I give credit to that Datsyuk player.

    I am glad that we have a young wave, that the other top teams-that are on there way out soon enough, donot have good farms. When there done there done for good.

    Where 19 88 will really enjoy the yrs 35-40 because of our young wave core.

  77. Craig….I really think that everybody knows that’s the season is over …its almost impossible to complete the regular season …
    The NHL should and will cancel the season …iff they are intelligent ( not sure they are ) the money is the most important thing for the league and the Owners ,so they will try everything to reopen but it will not work because the players will decide to stop everything. We are in May and in 3-5-7 weeks the situation will show that it’s over .
    The Draft in June or July would be a good idea …after they cancel the season
    Hawks would be able to pick up a top 10 pick …very good in this draft according to many hockey professional .
    After the Draft. …the league will have time to look at the new format for the next seasons …because the league will have 2-4 seasons with adjustments .. minimum
    Iff they think it will be like before next year they are dreaming.
    Let’s move on and Cancel everything… Now

  78. re: Morrison saying “Datsyuk Kane Mcdavid are the top players of these 40 yrs in my books.”

    My god…

    Sidney Crosby? Alex Ovechkin? Nik Lidstrom?

  79. 2010, CDC just released a 8 wk at a min of no gatherings. So thats July 1st right there. League to just cancel entire season.

  80. Ian, yes Kane and Toews are still young and have led the team every season. And
    because our GM is a fool, they are still fresh in their early 30’s from not being in the playoffs. And Keith like Chelios can play untilo over 40!!!
    Now, Howe never left Detroit, he retired from the NHL at the age of 41. Then came back to join the WHA to play with his sons. Gretzky was forced out of Edmonton because their owner was bankrupt! In fact within 2 years, Edmonton traded everyone away after their last CUP, otherwise they had more to win. Orr? He had no knees after the Canada Cup, no contract and only the Hawks with Wirtz made that crazy deal even happen to fill the seats at the stadium that had a bad team.
    If this management trades those CUP winning legends, they are fools! Then again, the history of Chicago with their Iconic players is probably the worst in all of the original six teams. Just remember this, after Pierre Pilote retired, Mr. Arthur Wirtz and company made Pat Stapleton the CAPTAIN??? Not Bobby Hull or Stan Mikita! How dumb and embarrassing was that? How many years was Mikita captain? I believe the answer is only two years? In fact they then made a below average defenceman Keith Mags the Captain over Stan Mikita??? Think about that for a second? It was embarassing to say the least! So, do I trust anything that the Wirtz family does? The anwers is NOOOOOOOOO!
    Bobby Hull was never a captain and hardly an alternate captain. Stan Mikita was captain only twice, one year I belive in 1970 & another in 1975? Think about that!

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