Waking up this morning, we had ourselves a little curveball thrown at us in the Chicago Blackhawks’ GM search. See what I did there, Brett? I know baseball terms, too.
• News this morning that the Chicago Blackhawks are indeed looking “outside of hockey” in their search for a permanent GM. According to Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman, Chicago Cubs assistant GM Jeff Greenberg is in the mix for the open GM position with the Blackhawks.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 7, 2022
• Color me intrigued. While my knowledge of the inner-working of baseball front offices and the front office of the Cubs is limited at best, what I can tell from Michael here is that Greenberg is an impressive person within the organization and is rising through the Cubs’ front office quickly. His family has strong connections to the hockey world from his Dad, Chuck, so it makes me interested to see what he could bring to the table. It’s certainly a fresh perspective on, not only the Blackhawks, but how to operate a hockey club as well.
• And then there’s this…
Today, we interviewed Peter Chiarelli for our GM position.
More updates to come as future interviews are completed.https://t.co/ZQxzpu5p98
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 7, 2022
• I swear, if the Blackhawks hire Peter Chiarelli, I’m taking a sabbatical.
• From the officially official BN Blackhawks polling center, Chiarelli is the least-favorite of the four confirmed Blackhawks GM candidates as of this weekend.
Of the 4 #Blackhawks GM candidates we know (so far) who is your choice?
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 5, 2022
• There will be no recounts.
• Another interesting tidbit from Marek and Friedman when discussing the Blackhawks’ front office was the thought that Chicago “needs” to put Eddie Olczyk into a front office/ambassador role.
On 32 Thoughts podcast, @FriedgeHNIC and @JeffMarek say Cubs AGM Jeff Greenberg is part of the #Blackhawks GM interview list. Also, Elliotte mentions Eddie Olczyk "needing" to become a part of the organization in a hockey ops/ambassador role.
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) February 7, 2022
• Olczyk was made part of the search committee for the new GM, along with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp, and was the host of the ill-fated Town Hall event. He’s loved by the Blackhawks fanbase, there’s no doubt, but his broadcasting contract with NBC Chicago is up at the end of this season and while he is also working National TV broadcasts for TNT, I wonder if he would step back from the booth, were he to be approached by the organization for a front office role. He has experienced some health issues recently and maybe a sort of low-key hockey operations advisory role would interest him both professionally and personally. Something to ponder.
• Last night, we learned that the Blackhawks had fired D.J. Jones, the long-time Rockford IceHogs Head Athletic Trainer, in November because of a sexual harassment complaint.
Report: Blackhawks Fired AHL Head Athletic Trainer In November For Sexual Harassment https://t.co/4s6AoWgI3D
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 7, 2022
• According to the report from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Jesse Rogers, an incident occurred between Jones and a member of the IceHogs’ ice crew in 2014. It was reported to the Blackhawks on October 27, 2021 (the day after the Jenner and Block findings were made public) and Jones was fired a week later.
• It is good to see that once the matter was reported, it was handled properly and promptly. It is good to see that the fallout from the Kyle Beach investigation possibly (probably) played a role in helping that person come forward with their story regarding Jones’ harassment of them. It is also evident, if you have been in the Blackhawks/IceHogs corner of Twitter in the past 12+ hours, that Jones had a history of sending harassing messages to women for years. I am glad it was handled. I am extremely upset it happened for so long to many others.
• In better IceHogs news, long-time AHL columnist Patrick Williams put together his list of AHL All-Stars for the 2021-22 season. With the league canceling the All-Star showcase for a second year in-a-row, Williams showed some love for the IceHogs with two representatives in the Central Division roster.
The stars unfortunately won't be shining in Laval tonight, but @pwilliamsAHL can still play the what-if game.
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) February 6, 2022
• A little bit of R&R for the IceHogs (Reichel and Regula, get it?), as they last played on Saturday night and are off until Friday when they face the Chicago Wolves in Rockford.
• The Blackhawks will also take advantage of one more day of rest before heading to Canada to face the Oilers on Wednesday night in Edmonton.
With a light schedule this week, the Blackhawks are off today. They return to practice tomorrow before heading to Edmonton, then St. Louis.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 7, 2022
• This is the first time the team will be crossing the U.S.-Canada border following the All-Star break, meaning the “new” testing protocols go into effect and the Blackhawks all will be COVID tested because of the border crossing.
• In Olympics news, the U.S. and Canadian Men’s teams scrimmaged ahead of the opening of the Men’s tournament later this week. Here’s how the U.S. squad lined-up:
US lines and pairings for scrimmage:
Rotating 4th line:
Abdelkader, Shore, Cates, Meyers McLaughlin and Farrell
Not dressed: Nagle https://t.co/u4MhjpGgNc
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) February 7, 2022
• Not that these are the final lines, pairings, and goaltender rotation, but it’s cool to see Blackhawks goaltending prospect Drew Commesso dressed for the team scrimmage and getting the start in the game.
• On the Women’s side, the U.S. and Canada meet later tonight to close their group stage of games. Both teams are undefeated heading into tonight’s matchup.
Last Preliminary Round Game! 🔵 Game 4 vs. Canada tonight at 11:10 PM ET on USA Network and Peacock.
— Kendall Coyne Schofield (@KendallCoyne) February 7, 2022
• Canada is coming off a win over Russia, or rather the ROC, in a very weird scenario last night. The Russian team didn’t have their COVID test results in on time, delaying the start of the game.
Reports are that Canadian team has not received Russia Covid testing update and won't take the ice until that happens. Procedural issue but Canada waits in dressing room.
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) February 7, 2022
• Following the delay, the game would be played with both teams wearing masks on the ice…
Team Canada requested ROC wear the N95 masks.
ROC agreed to do it… if Canada also wore masks.
So this is where we are at the Olympics.
— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) February 7, 2022
• Quite the visual.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) February 7, 2022
• Canada would win 6-1 in the end. I can say from experience, playing hockey while wearing a mask SUCKS. Hopefully this is not an issue again during these Olympics, but who knows in this world we are still living.
• A name that a lot of Blackhawks fans have gotten familiar with recently is Connor Bedard. Only 16-years-old, Bedard is not eligible to be drafted until the summer of 2023 but is the consensus top prospect in the 2023 NHL Draft Class. He’s out here doing stuff like this…
😱 Goal of the year from Connor Bedard 😱
— Regina Pats (@WHLPats) February 6, 2022
• Since the Blackhawks are likely not going to own their 2022 first-round draft pick, maybe the 2023 one can bring some luck and bring Bedard to Chicago. Hey, I can dream right?
• This is hilarious:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 7, 2022
• I can’t wait for Justin Fields to become a start in the NFL. The Bears need him to be.
• That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Monday!