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Blackhawks release John McDonough


Chicago Blackhawks Chairman W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz announced today the team has released John McDonough from his role as President and CEO of the organization. McDonough was hired as President of the team in 2007. In 2011, the role of CEO was added to his title.

“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,” said Wirtz. “As difficult as this is, we believe it was the right decision for the future of the organization and its fans,” Wirtz added.

The Blackhawks, under McDonough’s tenure, won Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015. During that time, the organization elevated its fan experience, expanded partnership and marketing efforts and were on a record 531 home game sell-out run before the league was suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

McDonough wrote a statement thanking the Blackhawks and their amazing fans.

Dear Blackhawks Family and Fans,

Rocky Wirtz gave me an amazing opportunity to preside over the Chicago Blackhawks 12 ½ years ago. It was the ride of a lifetime. I would like to thank Rocky, the Wirtz family, our staff, the players, the ambassadors and the fans for all they have done for the organization. I will be forever grateful to them and proud of what we accomplished together. Blackhawks fans are so incredibly passionate and loyal and are deserving of a consistent winner.

I wish Danny Wirtz well in his new role, and I am confident the organization will have success in the search for a new President.

My late father used a phrase sparingly but impactfully to describe those he found to be the most dignified, respectful and worthy of admiration. He would say they had “class à la mode.” That perfectly describes the Wirtz family and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Good luck. I’ll always be pulling for you.

John F. McDonough

Wirtz cited the COVID-19 crisis and the league suspension as an opportunity to reassess the team’s future and to set a renewed positive direction for the organization.

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

Team ownership is committed to ensuring strong executive leadership and will immediately begin a search to fill the role of President. In the interim, Daniel Wirtz, 43, currently Vice President of the Chicago Blackhawks and alternate Governor to the NHL, will serve as the team’s President. Danny Wirtz has been an active advisor with the Blackhawks for the past decade, serves as the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation Vice Chairman and is a representative for the team with the United Center Joint Venture.

“I cannot adequately express my family’s appreciation to John for his contributions to the turnaround of the Chicago Blackhawks organization. I take this interim role with the utmost responsibility to the team and will focus on resetting the framework for the next generation of the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Danny Wirtz. “I look forward to working with Rocky to identify our next leader.”

Danny Wirtz is a fourth-generation family leader with a vested interest in Wirtz Corporation. As a member of the Board of Directors, he also provides strategic counsel to its diversified holdings which include the Chicago Blackhawks, Breakthru Beverage Group, Wirtz Realty and banking interests in Illinois and Florida. He also is active in the United Center Joint Venture guiding campus evolution and development. In 2013, Danny launched the video production company, Banner, and in 2018, the creative studio Varyer. He is an active leader in the Chicago community and serves on the board of several Chicago-based civic organizations including the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation.

— Information from Chicago Blackhawks Communications was used in this report.

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