Blackhawks surprisingly release John McDonough as president and CEO


The Chicago Blackhawks surprisingly released John McDonough as president and chief executive of the NHL franchise.

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz made the announcement on Monday, ending McDonough's successful tenure in Chicago.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015 under McDonough leadership.

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A Chicago native, McDonough joined the Blackhawks as team president in 2007 after a 24-year stint with the Chicago Cubs.  

"Thirteen years ago, I recruited John to the Blackhawks because of his leadership, direction and vision," Wirtz said in a statement. "He rebuilt the front office and helped guide the organisation toward a winning vision. As difficult as this was, we believe it was the right decision for the future of the organisation and its fans."

McDonough helped revamp the Blackhawks' marketing and fan experience, had all 82 games broadcast on television and landed the 2009 Winter Classic. 

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the Blackhawks were on a record 531 home game sell-out streak.  

Wirtz said the NHL pause created by the COVID-19 crisis provided the opportunity for the franchise to re-evaluate how it operates and develop a new team outlook. 

"While we can reassure our fans there will be hockey again, no one knows what that will look like," Wirtz said. "What we do know is that it will take a new mindset to successfully transition the organisation to win both on and off the ice."

Daniel Wirtz, the Blackhawks' current vice-president, will serve as interim president as the franchise begin a search for a full-time president. 


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