Seravalli: Blackhawks begin leadership analysis ‘outside the box’

It’s been more than seven weeks since the independent investigator’s report rocked the Chicago Blackhawks to its core, with news that office members covered up prospect Kyle Beach’s 2010 sexual assault under the table. hand of then-video coach Brad Aldrich.

That report led to the departure of President of Hockey Operations and GM Stan Bowman – and gave the Blackhawks ownership time for soul searching.

The Blackhawks are slowly starting to pick up the pieces, but the Chicago front office puzzle may not be put together the same way.

In fact, it should come as no surprise that the Blackhawks develop a front office structure that hockey has never seen before.

What’s coming up in Chicago is a twofold process.

Sources say Face every day The Blackhawks have hired renowned professional sports advisor Mike Forde from Sportsology on a one-year contract to evaluate and analyze the team’s current hockey operating structure and how it compares to other teams. Best practices from organizations across other sports.

Forde is known as the “GM king” of the NBA and has participated in many famous candidate searches. Forde is a former Premier League executive with Chelsea. While he has worked with parent companies of other NHL clubs, including Devils and Capitals. This deep dive aboard the Blackhawks is expected to be Forde’s first time in the NHL.

A second part of the process is also underway, which involves the Blackhawks doing their own due diligence with other major professional sports brands. Led by CEO Danny Wirtz and President of Business Operations Jaime Faulkner, the Blackhawks chatted with C-Suite executives from other franchises to pick their brains on cultural structure. rooms, components and other key components.

Sources say the Blackhawks’ brains recently met with Chicago Cubs president Jed Hoyer on baseball operations, as well as other MLB executives, to gather thoughts on what could become a regulation. ‘out of the box’ recruitment process for hockey. (Hoyer and anyone else the Blackhawks have met are not candidates for future positions. The Blackhawks have direct ties to the Cubs: Faulkner’s husband, Colin Faulkner, is the Cubs’ chief commercial officer. )

Once the Blackhawks receive proper testing instructions from Forde and appropriate intelligence from the professional sports community, they intend to map out a hockey operating model and exactly what is needed.

Only then did the Blackhawks begin searching for candidates to fill those roles – and there’s no guarantee that anyone Chicago hires will fit into a box with his hockey background. me or her.

What happened to Kyle Beach was horrible and inexplicable. There is no getting around that. The reputation of the Blackhawks organization has been severely and perhaps irreparably damaged.

However, sources say Wirtz and Faulkner promptly saw the moment as an opportunity to question past practices, consider new alternatives and dream big to position the team. Better ball for the future. It will take something big to reinvent what is considered one of the NHL’s gold-standard franchises – with three Stanley Cups seized over a five-year period amid popularity. unmatched in the third largest US market.

Until then, the Blackhawks appear to be quite comfortable with GM Kyle Davidson temporarily directing the ship, who will almost certainly be considered long-term to reprise that role whenever the search progresses. to be carried out in 2022. Seravalli: Blackhawks begin leadership analysis ‘outside the box’

Britta Zeltmann

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