Who Should Replace Stan Bowman as the Blackhawks’ General Manager?

With everything that has been reported about the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office’s knowledge of the alleged sexual assault of a player during the 2010 Stanley Cup run, it’s becoming painfully clear that the organization is at a crossroads.

While the civil suit will still play out and the organization has started its internal investigation, the cloud hanging over the Blackhawks is dark and not going away.

At some point, changes will need to be made. And the Blackhawks will be looking for new leadership in its hockey operations department.

So who should the Blackhawks circle to replace Stan Bowman as the team’s general manager?

There happens to be a free agent with a strong track record who could be a great fit: Jeff Gorton.

Gorton was most recently the general manager of the New York Rangers, replacing Glen Sather on July 1, 2015. Before joining the Rangers, Gorton held a number of roles with the Boston Bruins over 15 years, including seven as assistant GM and a short time as the team’s interim general manager.

During his three-month tenure as GM in Boston, Gorton was in charge of the 2006 NHL Draft in which the Bruins selected Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand. As a scout and then GM of the Rangers, Gorton was instrumental in drafting Filip Chytil, Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast, J.T. Miller, Brady Skjei, Derek Stepan and Dylan Mcilrath.

Not everything went great for Gorton in New York. He won the day when he signed Artemi Panarin, but the deals with Rick Nash and Kevin Shattenkirk didn’t go as well as hoped. But not every general manager’s resume is absolutely flawless; we certainly know that here in Chicago.

The deal that jumps off his resume in New York was trading two second-round picks to Carolina for Adam Fox, who just won the Norris Trophy after his sophomore season in the NHL.

Gorton has almost 30 years of NHL experience under his belt and was in the process of leading a rebuild for the Rangers that was, by most assessments, coming along incredibly well before he was surprisingly fired at the end of the 2021 season.

The Blackhawks are in uncharted waters. They have cap space for the first time in more than a decade but are replacing at least one significant leader (Brent Seabrook) and potentially another (Duncan Keith). The window is still open to win with Patrick Kane and, hopefully, Jonathan Toews but it isn’t wide open.

Chicago needs someone who knows the job and evaluates talent well. Gorton has a track record that would make him a win as a successor to Bowman when the day comes.

58 thoughts on “Who Should Replace Stan Bowman as the Blackhawks’ General Manager?

  • July 1, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Replace Stan Bowman with A. N. Y. Body!
    Seriously- there are talented leaders out there who would, I’m sure, jump at the opportunity to create another dynasty! JC has got to go too!

  • July 1, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Jeff Gorton seems to have a good resume.

    However, what the Blackhawks need – although I am not sure they would agree – is a man of great character and integrity. A guy who would resign if the Blackhawks were doing something wrong – morally, ethically, legally. A guy who is secure enough to surround himself with people that are smarter and more successful than himself. A guy who will give you an honest answer, or no answer at all, instead of nuanced statements and double talk. A guy who everyone – the fans, the press, the players, the league – can trust. A guy who is dedicated to bringing a Cup to Chicago.

    I do not know who this person is. Or, if he even exists.

    In my opinion, here are the crossroads: Danny Wirtz can perpetuate the Wirtz dynasty with aggressive legal maneuvering and slick PR to settle the lawsuit and have everything sealed by court-ordered. Or, he can order his investigator(s) to be fully transparent with what happened and accept the consequences.

    What happens will determine if ‘the right’ GM will accept the job.

    I fully expect to see a statement like this from the Blackhawks:

    ‘The Blackhawks have reached an out-of-court settlement with John Doe 1 & 2 without any admission of wrong-doing. All records, including the amount of the settlement, are sealed by court-order to protect all parties, including the plaintiffs. The Blackhawks take sexual harassment very seriously and will be contributing $XXX to XYZ foundation dedicated to sexual harassment education and training’.

  • July 1, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    JG – there might be a job for you in the Hawks PR department ; )

  • July 1, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Unless sponsors turn on the Blackhawks, i,m not real convinced there is a likelyhood Bowman will be gone until the internal investigation is completed. Position until them is likely wait until all the facts are in.

  • July 1, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Dale Tallon

  • July 1, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Ian – it’s not an “internal investigation”. It is “an independent review of allegations”.

    Blackhawk lawyers and spin doctors get paid a lot of money to use just the right words.

  • July 1, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    The cart being put before the horse a little bit here, isn’t it? Course with the long standing Stan hatred it’s little wonder the vultures are gleefully circling before the facts are in, much less his demise confirmed.

  • July 1, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    ER – I believe you missed the point: There needs to be a fall guy. Fair or not. Based on perceptions or reality. The likely fall guy is Bowman.

    As they said in The Godfather: “it’s just business”

    Stan Bowman:
    “Can you get me off the hook, Danny? For old times’ sake?”

    Danny Wirtz:
    “Can’t do it, Stan.”

  • July 1, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    WIJG, McD would make an even better fall guy because he was Stan’s boss. In fact, it could be spun, true or not, the firing of McD was a proactive move to address the problem.

  • July 1, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Get rid of Stan and his dad. Save money for better players.I was a season ticket holder at one time.

  • July 1, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    ER – People want blood – right or wrong. And, you can’t get blood from a ‘corpse’.

    The whole thing smells of McD. I said last night to some friends, that as much as I dislike Stan Bowman, there may be 2 things that McD forced on Bowman that he gets blamed for: the Seabrook deal and the scandal.

    Bowman could’ve stood on principle and resigned, but he ‘took a knee’ to use your term.

  • July 1, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    wijg– your description of the “perfect GM” sounds like Hossa for GM

  • July 1, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Trades starting Arvidssen to Kings

  • July 1, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Hossa could very well be named Gm as Rocky Wirtz said that position would be filled later on by Bowman after he was promoted to President. Wouldn’t come as big surprise to me if they were waiting for his contract to expire and officially retire to offer it to him.

  • July 1, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Well Tim said we need the whole thing. This could happen now.

    People said we need new gm coaches teams system for when were ready. This could happen now.

    Have nothing agasint anyone in org though I want to get the team where we all want it to be and this could be what makes it happen faster.

    Other team fans may laugh at this but it could make us a top team again because it will force us to do what we need to do to get roster and team system top again.

    The timing of this might not have come at a better time. Timing.

  • July 1, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Bowman AND Colliton MUST BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY. Before he can do any more damage to the roster. Bowman is the number one reason for the rapid descent into oblivion (AGAIN)! If the Hawks brass want to get whatever Toews and Kane have left, then it needs to happen yesterday. He has to be stopped from tearing the team apart. He knows that the core of the 3 Cups was built by Dale Tallon and NOT himself. And Colliton is so completely over matched in game against ANYONE in the league.

  • July 2, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Johnny Joseph- the core of the 3 Cups was NOT built by Tallon- at least not him alone. Also, Tallon was in Florida for like a decade and the Panthers did squat. Let’s stop applauding Dale because Toews fell into his lap one year and the lottery balls bounced our way the next.

  • July 2, 2021 at 5:53 am

    Wijg if you’re starting a revue or investigation, whatever name you pin on it one day, why would you basically admit guilt before it happens by cleaning house. McDonough was fired a year and a half ago, was lead executive in charge at the time, it would seem until revue fact finding says more heads need to roll that could be all we see right now.

  • July 2, 2021 at 6:14 am

    Ian – I am not confident that any internal investigation, independent review or anything else will amount to anything. I think the outcome will be the type of press release I cited earlier.

    The Blackhawks got off to a good start by hiring a lawyer who works for, and will report ‘findings’ to them, and got Bettman to stay out of things. That also means that they can try and say that anything they find is ‘privileged’ and cannot be turned over to anyone else, including the plaintiff(s) on discovery grounds. Everything is protected by client (Blackhawks) and lawyer privilege.

    If you don’t believe me, look at how hard the Blackhawks are working to avoid transparency and not make the final report public.

    Kill time. Keep things under wraps. Settle quietly. Move on.

    I will admit, if the Blackhawks use this scandal as an excuse to fire Bowman, fair or not, I am good with it. I do not like Jeremy and Stan or green eggs and ham.

  • July 2, 2021 at 6:39 am

    Wijg, victims taking an undisclosed amount of settlement $ and moving on without any more public disclosure is often how majority of these type of issues are handled, why would you think this could be any different, especially if at end of the day no real criminal charges are liable to be laid. If that happens details of revue will remain between parties involved. If a piblic trial happens then all the details will be aired publicly. Either way nothing changes in interim, green eggs and ham remains unpopular amongst a number of fans. I still say how sponsors react could force Wirtzs hands more than anything at this point.

  • July 2, 2021 at 6:58 am

    Ian – we agree. I do not think things would be any different. That’s why I wrote the press release scenario. That is the most likely way this will end.

    Kill time. Keep things under wraps. Settle quietly. Move on.

    I would not be surprised if Stan Bowman retires at the end of next season to ‘spend more time with his family’ (kinda like what Michael Jordan did by riding a bus around with a triple A baseball team in Alabama). This would be more in respect to Scottie and to protect the Bowman name.

  • July 2, 2021 at 7:12 am


    July 1, 2021 at 5:13 pm
    Unless sponsors turn on the Blackhawks, i,m not real convinced there is a likelyhood Bowman will be gone until the internal investigation is completed. Position until them is likely wait until all the facts are in.

  • July 2, 2021 at 7:28 am

    I would not mind seeing Gorton. He at least knows the Rangers system, and can trade for young players, like Chytil, who I think is going to be a star! I think Stan has to be blamed as much as McDonough. What a POS that McDonough turned out to be! The hush-hush and sweeping under the rug came at his instructions. But, Stan was party to it, and he needs to go as well as McIsaac and all the others! A thorough deep-clean! Get the accomplices to the perp out – all of them!!

  • July 2, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Will be interesting to see how Stan handles the media during the draft re: the allegations.

    Can’t wait for him to tells us about a 5’ 7” 156 lb defenseman that they “were so happy was available in the first round.”

  • July 2, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Question- has there been any indication that Hossa would want to be a GM or that the Hawks would want him to be GM or is that talk just wishful thinking?

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Wrap what got me to thinking it may be more than wishful thinking lately is in a recent interview but before all the bad press of late, Bowman was asked which former players he considered Gm material. He talked about how Hossa fit that mold by his way of looking at the game. May be only 2+2 equals 5 but seems to like there could be smoke from a fire there too.

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Where was the NHLPA in all this? Apparently “everyone knew” what happened so why didn’t the NHLPA stand up for one of its members? They are really good at squeezing more money for their members but when it really counts – crickets. How about the victim’s teammates. They just bury their heads in the sand and ignore it? Looks to me that not just Hawks management that’s culpable here.

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Wijg, adding some big impact players this summer, followed up by a significant improved results on ice next year, could easily see Bowman move on. Be able to say the team is on the upward trend that he wants and let somebody take over, makes alot of sense as it works with the revue timing likely too.

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:31 am

    For God sakes, just get to the bottom of it! This whole situation makes the organization look pretty bad.

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:31 am

    I stated earlier in this post what I thought were the qualities the Blackhawks need in a GM (current or future). I also said I didn’t know anyone that has those qualities.

    After some thought, it turns out I know of 2 from personal experience.

    Eddie Olczyk and Doug Wilson.

    Both are high quality people that know hockey.

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Why was Gorton let go? If he was seemingly doing well, did something shady happen that the public just didn’t hear about?

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:41 am

    No no no … by all means the passions of the mob should determine every course of action. The mob would never make demands that weren’t thoroughly considered … would they?

  • July 2, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Fire Stan. Fans demand a new owner. Trade Kane and Toews to Buffalo for Jack Eichel. Give Kane and Toews a chance to enjoy their twilight years in the NHL. Work out a deal for Seattle to draft Duncan Keith and get something in return for him. We have a youthful team and a new image. Oh, and don’t change the logo. F that!

  • July 2, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Other than ER, does anyone really care what happens to Stan Bowman?

  • July 2, 2021 at 10:27 am

    This player was sexually assaulted in 2010 and now he has the balls to file a lawsuit..150 grand is all he is asking for?. And this player is responsible for letting it happen to others..must not of had the balls to back then..go figure..and by the way they need a GM with BALLS..

  • July 2, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Bratman63 – $150,000 is merely a place holder. Civil suits are classified as under or over $150,000. The plaintiff’s lawyer said that in a different case, they actually settled for $3,000,000.

    The player reported what happened to management, as he was supposed to do, and was told it was his fault. He went away. Then, years later, when learned of what this fiend did elsewhere he apparently became angry and now wants the Blackhawks held accountable.

  • July 2, 2021 at 10:41 am

    re: Gait’s Edzo/Wilson front office…

    I would 100% hire Edzo as the Pres of Hockey Ops. But I would go Gorton for GM.

  • July 2, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Ian – I think you’re on the right track with the timing for Stan being replaced – after the review is in after this off season

    I mentioned the PA earlier – they need to answer for their inaction as well

  • July 2, 2021 at 11:19 am

    WIJG – while I don’t believe Stan is a bad GM relative to all the other NHL GMs, I have no allegiance to him at all – I wouldn’t have any issue with him staying or leaving provided whatever action or non-action taken is best for the team.

    The problem I have with the “fire Stan” narrative is the shallow and unserious reasons for demanding him gone. I doubt very seriously if anyone posting on this or other Hawks blogs have done the due diligence to thoroughly examine the totality of Stan’s record as GM and weighed it against all of his peers. Rather, they don’t like the current state of the Hawks and blame him without a thorough understanding of how the Hawks got to where they are and why.

  • July 2, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Tab – I agree. That would be an ideal solution

    Edzo can be the heart and soul of the organization (which apparently has none) while Gorton manages trades, contracts, Cap compliance and all the other things GMs do (not sure Edzo is qualified in this area).

  • July 2, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Dale Tallon, Doug Wilson, or someone with their talents would be a good GM. Anyone else still has a 90% chance of being better than Bowman.

  • July 2, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Kane4ever – According to NBC Sports’ Adam Gretz’s rankings from November of 2020 (just Google it for details) you are spot on:

    The Elites
    1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche.
    2. Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings.
    3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues.
    4. Julien BriseBois, Tampa Bay Lightning.
    5. Don Sweeney, Boston Bruins.
    Established names and strong track records
    6. Lou Lamoriello, New York Islanders.
    7. Jim Nill, Dallas Stars.
    8. Jim Rutherford, Pittsburgh Penguins.
    9. Brian MacLellan, Washington Capitals.
    Definitely above average
    10. Kelly McCrimmon, Vegas Golden Knights.
    11. Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs.
    12. Don Waddell, Carolina Hurricanes.
    13. Ken Holland, Edmonton Oilers.
    The middle ground
    14. Jeff Gorton, New York Rangers.
    15. Doug Wilson, San Jose Sharks.
    16. Rob Blake, Los Angeles Kings.
    17. Chuck Fletcher, Philadelphia Flyers.
    18. Marc Bergevin, Montreal Canadiens.
    19. Jarmo Kekalainen, Columbus Blue Jackets.
    20. Brad Treliving, Calgary Flames.
    21. David Poile, Nashville Predators.
    22. Kevin Cheveldayoff, Winnipeg Jets.
    Too soon to tell
    23. Bill Guerin, Minnesota Wild
    24. Tom Fitzgerald, New Jersey Devils.
    These guys should be on the hot seat
    25. Pierre Dorion, Ottawa Senators.
    26. Bob Murray, Anaheim Ducks.
    27. Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks.
    28. Jim Benning, Vancouver Canucks.
    Not enough track record to rank
    Kevyn Adams, Buffalo Sabres.
    Bill Zito, Florida Panthers.
    Bill Armstrong, Arizona Coyotes.

    I doubt you will find Stan Bowman included in any discussions about top GMs and certainly not in consideration for GM of Year.

    If the Blackhawks want to be the best team in the world, they need to start by upgrading their GM, in my opinion. Why wait for Boqvist to start shaving? Or, Colliton to become a legitimate Head Coach? Or, for some to-be-determined draft pick?

  • July 2, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Won’t be shocked at all if/when Stan survives this.

  • July 2, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Tab, I believe if they get rid of Stan they might as well go outside of the organization totally to get a new POHO and GM.

    My first choice a couple of years ago was Hextall but now that he’s taken I’ll leave the discussion with a real outside the box pick. Steve Sullivan is my choice for GM.

    I’ve always felt Stan should’ve been let go long ago. Losing 3 Saad trades was is proof enough he’s a horrible GM.

  • July 2, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Unfortunately for Hawk fans and the organization,as Ian related,all of the litigation/settlements will have to be completed before the bloodletting of this organization can be carried out. The Wirtz family has never been real keen on bringing in true outsiders to run their operation so I would not count on people like Gorton or whatever up and coming G.M is hungry to tackle this mess to be hired. My opinion is they will not do what is necessary to compete until their bottom line is truly effected and the majority of their sponsors bail. That seems to be the only thing that brings on meaningful change.

  • July 2, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    The times they are a changing.

    Threre could be lots of changes for the Blackhawks. It was curious in a past Hockey news that they said all teams had their front emblem of their sweater in a media release but they put (and only Chicago) the Hawk sweater showing the back only. The writer said it was intentional and only foreshadowed the inevitable. With what’s happening in Canada, and across North America now, it will probably be only a matter of time before a name-jersey change.

    I think people are offended by way too much these days, but this one may be too raw.

  • July 2, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    If we doing hypothetical. How about we do a life long guy(chicagoain) like Chris chelios for gm. Came back after all these years to service as a ambassador to us. Give him a chance if he’d want it that is.
    Can’t believe I’m going to say this but like Tampa Bay did with ughh Steve Yserman(can’t spell sorry) ex redwing he definitely turned them around. And the while we’re at bring Hossa back to be head coach.

  • July 2, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Whats good about not having a good/best for what we need to do/ gm coaches team system to get the right kind of players we need is this.

    By having a bottom 10 record for another yr we get a top 10 quality player each yr doing so. We build a nucleaus of elite players/top 10 quality and have a that and a good group of young wavers now we have a reload and 19 88 will still have a good 5 yrs left to go with a good fast young team.

    Make sure we get tyhe hardnose players we need/lots of them in the 23man and Lankenin or another good goalie. We looking really good to be a top team in a few yrs.

    So these things might be the best thing for us/not ideal way to clean house though gets done what we need to do and we ll have more elite players/very good players because of it from draft.

    I like that getting top 10 quality. The more top 10 draft picks we have the moar good young players we ll get. Not all will be elite or very good though the more the moar will be.

    Load young wave! Get the right people here to get the players we need.

  • July 2, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Agree with most of wijg’s last comment. I am no fan of Stan (or anyone else chosen by nepotism instead of talent) but l’ve been reading “Stan’s trade stink” comments for years that consistently ignore the realities of a hard salary cap. That said, Stan needs to go.
    There must be several qualified candidates, perhaps including one named Suter. Hossa, interesting. What I don’t want to see is someone who comes in and derails a painful, multi-year rebuild to try for a first-rnd-maybe playoff berth 2021-22.

  • July 3, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Amazing. Just when you think things can’t get worse they somehow do.
    Stan was in the meeting when Paul Vincent urged the 4 execs to go to the Chicago Police Department Sex Crimes Unit. So he knew and kept the secret.

    Bergevin and Cheveldayoff were not in the meeting so they have “plausible deniability “. Big term but very important legally.

    What I can’t believe is that Bowman is still pulling the strings on the Duncan Keith deal, the Seth Jones deal, the draft, free agency etc. he should be on administrative leave until the findings of the investigation are in, as should Al McIsaac.
    To me, any trade or transactions from now on are an attempt by Bowman to change the narrative. Very dangerous.

  • July 3, 2021 at 8:14 am

    You all are missing a great candidate !

    Jonathon Toews !

  • July 3, 2021 at 10:11 am

    My belief is that Stan will be with the Hawks at least until the John Doe lawsuits are resolved. In his present role he’s part of the “control group” for purposes of attorney client privilege. The Hawks appear to have circled the wagons and will try to avoid making any comments until resolution. Once the lawsuits have settled (doubt the Hawks would allow the case(s) to be tried in a public forum) or dismissed, then things may get interesting.

  • July 3, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Ideally Stan should have been gone after the 2017 blowout by Preds (my choice) or at the absolute latest before he had a chance to screw up the 2018 draft (I call it “The Lost Draft”). He is a bean counter pretending to be a hockey guy.

    Agree with @Craig that he placed on leave immediately.

  • July 3, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Whatever happens with that stuff just make good trades now and draft the right players. When/if theres a new gm coach team systems then there wil be roster adjustments based on new gm coach team system. So when thing cant get worse and this looks like it is its actually the best thing that coupld happen for us if nothing was going to change for what team system and type of players to get that we talk about here.

    Load the young wave! and add elites/have 3 yrs to get them at anytime is a good time. Salary cap will take care of itself with the core players retiring.

  • July 5, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Morrison- great idea: Hossa as head coach! JC as water boy….super upgrade!

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