Blackhawks to begin reaching out to potential GM candidates this week

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(670 The Score) The Blackhawks’ search for a permanent general manager is about to ramp up.

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The organization will begin reaching out to potential candidates this week to set up interviews, CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement Wednesday. The Blackhawks have been doing in-house research on potential candidates for the past six weeks.

When exactly a hire will be made remains unclear, but the team fully intends to hire a new general manager prior to the NHL trade deadline on March 21, Wirtz said.

Interim general manager Kyle Davidson will interview for the permanent job. He has been in the interim role since Blackhawks president of hockey operations Stan Bowman resigned in October amid the fallout from a sexual assault scandal in the organization a decade ago.

Here’s Wirtz’s full statement:

“As we recently reached the halfway point of the 2021-22 season, I am excited to provide an update on our search for the next general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Over the last six weeks, our leadership has been taking part in a discovery and research process that explored all functions and structure of our hockey operations department. This top-to-bottom exercise revealed an incredible amount of in-house talent while also highlighting areas for growth and opportunities to become more competitive. We plan to create a next generation hockey operations department with a path to sustained success for the Chicago Blackhawks. Our next step is to find the right leader, and we will begin to reach out to potential candidates this week to interview for the general manager role. That position will be the highest-ranking executive in hockey operations and will report directly to me. We anticipate making a final decision in advance of the National Hockey League trade deadline.

“We are looking to hire the best strategic mind who can build and develop a Hockey Operations leadership team that will be best in class across professional sports. This new leader will create a team environment that brings the best experts together to guide decision-making on the future of the Blackhawks while ensuring they share in the overall organizational goals of consistently competing at a championship level. And without question, he or she must be someone who exhibits our organizational values.

“Current interim general manager Kyle Davidson is a candidate and will interview for the general manager role. He remains in his position of interim general manager and will continue to have full autonomy of hockey decisions in the meantime.

“I will lead the interview process alongside president of business operations Jaime Faulkner, with the support and counsel of an advisory group who will offer perspective on the role and those being interviewed. That advisory committee will be comprised of leaders across the sports industry as well as our search partners and will be announced in the coming days.

“We will be as transparent as possible throughout this process; however, since we will be interviewing candidates both inside and outside of hockey, we will need to respect the confidentiality of the process and those candidates.  In addition, we are planning on hosting a townhall-style meeting next week with our fans, partners, staff and media to further explain the greater vision of the Chicago Blackhawks. Details on that are to follow.

"We greatly look forward to bringing in the leader of our club’s team operations who is going to help write the next chapter of championship hockey for this franchise.”