It is officially a new era for the Chicago Blackhawks.
On Monday, the Blackhawks they released president and CEO John McDonough. He was named the team president in 2007 and the CEO in 2011, and he helped oversee Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz said:
" Thirteen years ago, I recruited John to the Blackhawks because of his leadership, direction and vision. John brought all of that to the table and more. His contributions went well beyond leading the team to three Stanley Cup Championships. He rebuilt the front office and helped guide the organization toward a winning vision. As difficult as this is, we believe it was the right decision for the future of the organization and its fans."
Daniel Wirtz, who is the team's vice president and alternate governor to the NHL, will fill the role on an interim basis while the Blackhawks search for a new president.
While the franchise's announcement pointed to the record 531 home game sellouts run prior to the league suspending its season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Blackhawks have fallen off from their run of Stanley Cup dominance.
They are in last place in the Central Division with 72 points at 32-30-8 and seven points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference with just 12 games remaining if and when the season does resume and finish.
This would mark the third straight season Chicago has missed the playoffs, which comes on the heels of nine straight postseason appearances. While that run included two more appearances in theWestern Conference Final, the Blackhawks lost in the first round over the final two years of the streak.
Former Chicago Tribune reporter Jimmy Greenfield suggested moving on from the 66-year-old McDonough could signal the end of general manager Stan Bowman's 11-year tenure and bring on a full rebuild that could even mean moving on from future Hall of Famers Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews:
The Blackhawks have been one of the most successful organizations in all of sports over the past 10 years, but Kane (31), Toews (31), defenseman Duncan Keith (36) and goaltender Corey Crawford (35) are all 30 or older.
What's more, they legendary head coach Joel Quenneville in November 2018.
The organization seems to be moving in a new direction, and McDonough will not be part of it.