A New Face of Ownership, GM Search Continues, Best of the Best in Women's Hockey, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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A New Face of Ownership, GM Search Continues, Best of the Best in Women’s Hockey, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Sometimes I have a clever thought for these introductions. Sometimes I draw a blank and just let the content below speak for itself. This is the latter.

•   I’ve gone back and forth on what the Wirtz family needs to do regarding the Blackhawks and trying to move forward from the past nine+ months. Following the Town Hall event, it’s pretty evident that the best way forward for the organization is to have Danny Wirtz replace his Dad as the face of team ownership.

•   Danny has already been running more of the day-to-day operations of the club, why not formally make him the leading voice of the team from an ownership standpoint? If Chicago wants to make amends in the hockey world and with their fan community for the long-haul, Danny seems to be the best option to lead the club.

•   After it was rumored at the Blackhawks would be interviewing Chicago Cubs assistant general manager Jeff Greenberg, the team made it official yesterday afternoon that they had interviewed him for the GM position.

•   This is the first non-hockey interview they have had. It may likely be the only one since it is rumored that the team will only be interviewing five or six candidates. Greenberg makes five. While the connections between Greenberg and the Blackhawks aren’t super strong, Greenberg is no stranger to the world of hockey. His Dad tried to become an NHL owner twice and Greenberg played club hockey in college when he was at the University of Pennsylvania.

•   Whomever the Blackhawks hire for GM, they are going to have a lot of room to stretch their legs and put their fingerprints all over the construction of the team and the front office below them, as Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times explains:

•   For a dollar, name a woman.

•   We harp on the changes needed in culture in hockey. The Blackhawks are trying to address those kinds of culture changes, but by interviewing five white guys, four of which are entrenched in the hockey world, the need for a wider variety of representation is still missing.

•   You’ll remember the “big board” of GM candidates we wanted to see be interviewed before the process started. It included people like Kevin Weekes, Meghan Hunter, and Cammi Granato to name a few. The Athletic’s Ryan Clark spoke with Granato, the first female pro scout in the NHL (among many other historical firsts) about when and how we will see the first female GM in the NHL.

•   Women in sports and specifically in hockey deserve just as much of a place at the table as any guy does. There’s too many talented minds and too many talented players to think that giving them an equal platform is in any way “bad” for the game.

•   Unless your Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, who wrote this week that Women’s Hockey doesn’t need to be in the Olympics. I’m not linking the article because it is a ham take that is decades old and categorically wrong. I’ll let the guys of the Steve Dangle Podcast touch on it a bit more and better than I can:

•   Last night’s Canada-U.S. game was so far the highlight of the Women’s Hockey tournament at the Winter Olympics and even with the late start time, it was still the buzz of the hockey world.

•   Give Women’s hockey the proper platform and look at the attention it drives. There has been progress made, especially this year with ESPN+ picking up a large portion of PHF games, but there’s a lot more that could be done to continue to grow the game outside of the realm of the NHL. It’s truly in the best interest of the sport and everyone involved in it.

•   The game itself was a full display of how unpredictable hockey can be. The U.S., if they played this game 100 times, would probably come out as the winners 80+ times. But last night, it was Canada who made the most of their opportunities and topped the U.S. 4-2.

•   The U.S. finished second in their group behind Canada and will face the Czech Republic in the Quarterfinals on Thursday night. Canada will face Sweden on Friday morning. If both of the U.S. and Canada win, they’ll meet in the Semifinals with the winners playing for Gold and the losers playing for Bronze.

•   It’s a shame that these top two countries won’t be meeting in the Final, but again, with the growth of Women’s hockey outside of the U.S. and Canada, don’t go assuming that they have cake-walks in their quarterfinal matchups. It’s going to be a fun few days.

•   The Men’s tournament begins tomorrow in the early morning, with the U.S. team playing their first game on Thursday morning against host-nation China. A pretty cool note on the U.S. Men’s roster, all of the players are current or former NCAA players.

•   Blackhawks goaltending prospect Drew Commesso “started” the U.S.-Canada pre-tournament scrimmage, so it will be interesting to see if he gets into the rotation for the U.S.

•   Commesso is one of 16 players with connections to the Blackhawks in the Men’s tournament. Two in particular on Team Sweden, Marcus Kruger and Joakim Nordstrom, have a unique opportunity to join the “Triple Gold” Club if Sweden were to win Olympic Gold this year.

•   #Retire28

•   Alex DeBrincat was on full display in the NHL All-Star festivities over the weekend and his first NHL All-Star nod cemented his place in the league as a superstar. He’s only getting better. At 24-year-old, DeBrincat could be the next big hockey star in Chicago after the “Kane and Toews” era, as The Athletic’s Scott Powers writes:

•   Checking in on the MLB lockout…

•   That is not nice if you are a baseball fan.

•   Also in baseball news yesterday…are…are steroids cool now?

•   The MLB is going to become the Wild West if this lockout continues on much longer.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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