Tag Archives: VERSUS

McDonough’s new title, backstory on Finals game 5 and much more

In the next few days we’ll gradually get caught up on the thoughts and all the notes we’ve missed in the past month I’ve been away.

McDonough title gets fatter

On the first of June, Blackhawks franchise President John McDonough had his title extended to include the title of Chief Executive Officer.

Rocky Wirtz explained the move in a press release:

“John has shown unprecedented leadership, boundless energy and a tireless ability to move the Blackhawks forward since he took over operations for the organization in 2007.  It is only appropriate that we add CEO to his title as the direction of this franchise continues to strive for excellence.”

The new title itself won’t change McDonough’s role much if at all.  It’s more of a cosmetic change than anything else.  Not unlike several moves made a year ago after the Stanley Cup win.

Last summer several front office types received new promotions in title.

Jay Blunk was promoted from Senior Vice President of Business Operations to a more plain, bolder and broader, Executive Vice President.  Stan Bowman had “Vice President” inserted before his General Manager tag.  Chris Werner was promoted from Senior Director to Vice President of Ticket Operations and Customer Relations.  Al MacIsaac got a Vice President tag to stitch over his previous Senior Director of Hockey Administration as well as Assistant to the President.  MacIssac’s official title since has been Vice President/Assistant to the President.   Kevin Cheveldayoff also had Senior Director of Hockey Operations tagged onto his plain Assistant General Manager distinction.

With all the elevations in status being handed out last summer, John McDonough’s stayed the same until this month.

In a Q&A with ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers the day after his promotion, McDonough gave his take on the CEO tag.

“Well, we know over the last few years the signature here has been profound change, and what we’re looking for is continuity,” McDonough said.  “For me I’m proud to play a small role in the development of this franchise, but this gives us more continuity.”

What a title has to do with continuity is your guess.   And McDonough’s role in remodeling and advancing the Blackhawks’ business and hockey operations has been anything but small.  But his use of the word continuity is still interesting.

McDonough, who turned 58 last month, will be entering the final year of his original five-year contract when he was signed on as team president on November 20, 2007.  In January of 2010, McDonough signed a multi-year extension that is believed to at least take him through the 2015-16 season.

Going by what little is known about McDonough’s contract, term, the president wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Perhaps there is more to this story than we know?  For sure McDonough associating his own promotion with the term ‘continuity’ when he is under contract for another five seasons does raise some suspicion.

The only thing we can tell for sure is this move does put some space between McDonough and those underneath him who were founded new titles last summer.  Take that for what you will.

Catching up on what’s happening

– So… there was a serious Thrashers’ bidder interested in keeping the team in Atlanta

– According to Forbes, citing a team source, the Tampa Bay Lightning, despite increasing attendance by an average of 2,000 per game and three-round playoff run, will post a $25-30 million pre-tax loss this season. Read more »

Share

Crawford talks at Draft; Mike Keenan Roast, Hossa at Worlds

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis has the scoop on the Corey Crawford negotiations.  In Francis’s Sunday Sun column, he noted Crawford’s agent, Gilles Lupien, said he and the Blackhawks are planning to hold the negotiations face-to-face at the NHL Draft June 24-25 in St. Paul.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it.  His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.”

If true, one would wonder why the lack of urgency, specifically on the Blackhawks’ side?  This approach is similar to how Stan Bowman handled the Antti Niemi negotiations.

First off, aside from Cristobal Huet, who the Blackhawks still won’t be able to afford on their cap next season barring a major cap cut, the Blackhawks don’t have a single goaltender under contract currently for next season.

Marty Turco is an unrestricted free agent and a possible return is very much in doubt.  Hannu Toivonen is a UFA but if he returns it will be to start in Rockford.  Alexander Salak, the 24 year old Czech acquired in February from the Panthers along with Michael Frolik, is a restricted free agent.  Salak has never played in the NHL and while he ranked as one of the best netminders in Sweden this year, he was an average goaltender in Rochester (AHL) in 2009-10 and the arrival of Jacob Markstrom chased Salak back to Europe.  While Salak’s resume is not too different from Crawford’s pre 2010-11, he’s still unproven and if the Hawks are aiming to be Cup contenders next year, would they really put themselves in a position to have an unproven commodity within an injury of pinning their season on Salak?  Sure, they got lucky with Niemi and Crawford was phenomenal this year despite never asserting himself in five minor league seasons prior to getting his chance.  Going to that well three consecutive years though may not be the smartest thing to do. Read more »

Share

NHL All-Star Weekend on VERSUS

Here’s what’s going for the NHL All-Star Weekend on VERSUS

NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft – Friday January 28th 8ET.
Super Skills – Saturday 29th 7ET.
NHL All-Star Game – Sunday January 30th 4ET.

For More Information check out http://www.versus.com/nhl/

Share