Blackhawks Town Hall Event Much Bigger Than Just The GM Search

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Blackhawks Town Hall Event Much Bigger Than Just The GM Search

Chicago Blackhawks

Tomorrow is going to be a major day for the Chicago Blackhawks. The “Town Hall” event is set to take place before The Blackhawks and Wild face-off in what is Chicago’s final game before the NHL All-Star break.

While the purpose of the event is to give fans, staff, and media members information about the direction of the organization moving forward and updated details on the search for a new GM of the club, it is also the first time that team owner Rocky Wirtz and team CEO Danny Wirtz have spoken publicly, taking questions, since the entirety of the Kyle Beach and “John Doe 2” sexual assault investigations and findings.

Since those findings were made public from the Jenner and Block investigations, the team has fired Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac, as well as Joel Quenneville being fired from his coaching position with the Florida Panthers. The messaging since then has been about the organization’s change in culture, both on the ice and in the front office. But what do we know about that? What changes are actually being made?

Those are some questions we hope to get some clearance and tangible information on from the Wirtz boys and President of Business Operation Jaime Faulkner.

Recently, The Athletic’s Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus laid-out a number of burning questions and concerns that should be and need to be addressed at the event:

This is the first time since March of 2020, even before former Team President John McDonough became “former team President John McDonough,” that Blackhawks Owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz has taken questions about the organization. Since then, we’ve seen McDonough get fired, the Blackhawks play in an expanded postseason, have an entire (shortened) season without Captain Jonathan Toews, gone though a sexual assault cover-up investigation, and seen both GM Stan Bowman and head coach Jeremy Colliton get fired. Just to name a few events.

Yeah, it’s been a while.

There’s a real sense that since Danny Wirtz has been in position as Team CEO, moving forward with a more modernized outlook on how to run an organization is a reality for a once stuck-in-the-mud club, whose front office thought it could do no wrong. Clearly, that was not the case in many different ways. Danny Wirtz seems genuine in trying to bring the Blackhawks back to the top of the NHL as an organization on and off the ice. There have been small and large changes, but the Town Hall event will be a key point in figuring out what real changes are going to be made moving forward that will bring fans back to the team.

What internal cultural changes are being made?

How is the team going to face new marketing and ticket sales challenges as the COVID Pandemic continues?

What will the Blackhawks do for Kyle Beach and “John Doe 2” moving forward beyond the financial settlement(s)?

And of course, what will the new GM role actually entail with or without a Team President?

I’m optimistic about the organization heading in a better direction. Maybe that’s foolish? But what other option do I have other than to believe in a better future for the team.

But they’ll have to do more than just say the right things. Now is a time for actions within the front office to make amends with the fanbase and hockey community at-large. Hopefully tomorrow night is the first of actual action in a better direction.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.