Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: john mcdonough
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,
How did you digest the Hawks' first first-round playoff exit since 2012?
We got beat, period. You can talk about (Brent) Seabrook hitting two posts (in Game 7 against the Blues), but we got beat. We had the plan to acquire (Tomas) Fleischmann and (Andrew) Ladd and (Dale) Weise, and when you do that, of course you think you're going to the finals because that always had been the script. So it was a bit of a culture shock.
But I always say: You better have a plan in case you need to change the plan. And Stan had to look at things differently. He couldn't be more committed or engaged. He's understated, subdued, measured. I have to check his pulse from time to time.
How difficult has the past year been for you — particularly the Kane situation?
Extremely, extremely difficult. I wouldn't be human if I didn't say that. We wear all of this. We take this personally. We second-guess each other, but there was a point in time with that when you had to move on and it couldn't be something that impacted me leading this organization. You learn a lot about yourself, human nature, about other people. I've been doing this since 1980. It's probably been the most difficult year of my career.
But this isn't about me. It's about what am I going to do in leading this organization to a good place. This was something I internalized, quietly, and moved past it. But from an emotional standpoint, it took a toll.
Some things never change. Ahead of the Board of Governors meetings, quite conveniently so, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiwicke made some rather heated comments suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are slighted by the NHL on a regular basis, as the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger noted in Twitter and now article form...
“Why there hasn’t been a Winter Classic in Canada is, in my opinion, a mistake and shows a lack of respect to this city...” Leiweke said.
In confirming his attempts to woo all these events to Toronto, Leiweke followed by perhaps making the boldest statement of many bold statements: The NHL would reach unparalleled heights if and when the Leafs compete for — and, in his mind, hopefully win — a Stanley Cup.
“As Toronto goes, so goes the (business) success of the National Hockey League. I firmly believe that,” Leiweke said. “If we could ever lift up that silver shiny thing, the impact we would have on this league would be phenomenal — like nothing we’ve ever seen before. No offence against New York. And no offence against L.A. (But) if the Maple Leafs play for the Stanley Cup, we are going to have 20 million people watching that game.”
"John McDonough is in my ear all the time for anything," Bettman told the Tribune. "He's very passionate about doing as many things from a league perspective with the Blackhawks in Chicago as possible."
That includes the Hawks hosting the NHL All-Star Game or NHL draft. Chicago has not been the site for the All-Star Game since 1991 and never has been the location for the draft.
That could change if McDonough gets his wish.
"There's always the possibility," Bettman said. "We haven't focused on where we're going in the long term but obviously we know there are a lot of great fans in Chicago and the Blackhawks are part of the heart and soul of the city."
Kuc also continues...
“In a perfect world, you’d like to try it again with the same group. But a hard salary cap is not a perfect world.”
“I don’t mind it when the waters are stirred a little. It means there’s something going on.”
-John McDonough, President of the Chicago Blackhawks. More on McDonough from Dan McGrath of the New York Times.
from Crain’s Chicago Business,
Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz has given team President John McDonough a long-term contract as a reward for reinvigorating the once-foundering franchise.
Mr. McDonough is in the third year of a five-year contract. The extension runs through 2016, a source said.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The most interesting reaction during the opening night of the Blackhawks Convention came from the fans who overflowed the Hilton Chicago grand ballroom for the opening ceremonies Friday.
They greeted president John McDonough with a chorus of boos, a sure indication the club’s most loyal supporters didn’t like the firing of general manager Dale Tallon. McDonough figures to take some more heat today when he’s part of a question-and-answer session with the fans….
(Stan) Bowman received only lukewarm applause Friday, and coach Joel Quenneville and the players were reluctant to discuss the incident.
‘‘It’s a tough business we’re in,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘A lot of coaches have been let go in the last few years, and we’re seeing more managers changed. It’s a negative part of our business, but Dale will still be around, and this gives Stan an opportunity. He’s really looking forward to it. We’ll move on and look forward to getting better.’‘
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
...Despite the job Tallon has done in four seasons as Hawks GM, rumours persist that he and McDonough don’t see eye to eye.
“No, it’s not true,” McDonough said this week, as the playoff returned to Chicago for the first Round 2 in 13 springs. His take on why the smoke of Tallon’s dismissal continues to waft over the NHL landscape?
“Any time that somebody new comes in to run an organization, and you’re getting to know people’s styles—and their styles are different than yours—that’s probably going (perceived) that there is friction between the president and the general manager,” McDonough said.
“Dale is more of a laid back, casual, get-it-done (guy), but in a different style. Mine is more aggressive. It’s everyday aggressive. So, we’re learning more about each other.
from Bryan Gruley of the Wall Street Journal,
As the NHL season gets underway, Mr. McDonough discussed his plan to get the Blackhawks back on top.
WSJ: Do you have a benchmark in mind? The Detroit Red Wings?
Mr. McDonough: I really don’t want to talk about other elite franchises. At the end of last season, when we missed the playoffs by three points, we gathered the hockey team and the front office together over a luncheon. The message I sent was, we are no longer going to have a hockey operation and a business operation. There is going to be one Chicago Blackhawks. There is going to be a certain type of player that is going to play.
From Ben Klayman at Reuters,
However, many thought Wirtz’s coup was the late November hiring of John McDonough, president of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, to the same position with the Blackhawks.
“We need to take that beautiful arena and we need to bring back the roar and fill that building every night,” McDonough, 54, said. “Expectations are sky high.”
He moved quickly to repair relations with alienated former Blackhawks stars still beloved by fans, hiring Hall-of-Famers Hull, Mikita and Tony Esposito as ambassadors.
“It was embarrassing for a while there. Things were looking real dismal,” said former star goalie Esposito, 65, who was the face of the franchise in the 1970s. He said the club is now being run like it was in its heyday.
more… *a detailed look at the evolution of the Blackhawks franchise
As I’ve written in the past, the changes in Chicago represent one of my favorite NHL stories this season. A remarkable turnaround in effect there.