Blackhawks elevate Stan Bowman, finalize executive leadership team

Chicago Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AP)

As the Chicago Blackhawks enter a rebuild on the ice, the club has finalized the executive leadership team that will guide the franchise through its transition.

On Wednesday the team named Danny Wirtz as CEO and alternate governor, elevated Stan Bowman to president of hockey operations and general manager and hired Jaime Faulkner as president of business operations and alternate governor. The moves come after the dismissal of long-team CEO John McDonough in April.

"The play stoppage provided us the ability to look into the windshield and recognize that whatever the future held, it would require an entire new look at how we play and host this great game," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, father to Danny, said in a statement. "It was evident that it would require change. Since then, we have taken the steps and made those changes to put the pieces into place that will bring a new mindset and culture to the Chicago Blackhawks, that will lead us into the future.”

Bowman enters his 19th season with the Blackhawks and has been the team's general manager since 2009. He added senior vice president to his title five years ago. As general manager, he has overseen one of the most successful eras in club history, including three Stanley Cup wins.

Danny Wirtz was named interim president in the aftermath of McDonough's firing this spring and since then has overseen "an in-depth process to set the organization's long-term vision for the future."

Part of that vision was detailed in a public letter the Blackhawks sent to fans in October, when the club declared it was entering a rebuild. Since the last Cup win in 2015, the club has not advanced past the first round of the playoffs and they were poised to miss the post-season entirely for a third-straight year before the pandemic allowed the field to be expanded from 16 teams to 24 last season.

"We're committed to developing young players and rebuilding our roster," the letter said. "We want more than another window to win; we want to reach the summit again, and stay there – an effort that will require a stockpile of emerging talent to complement our top players. The influx of youth and their progression will provide roster flexibility and depth throughout our lineup."

Faulkner joins the Blackhawks after more than a decade working in the sports and entertainment industries. In 2013, she co-founded and was named CEO of E15, a consulting strategy and analytics company with clients in various industries including pro sports teams and vacation resorts. Earlier in her career, she worked at KPMG and Arthur Andersen.

Her role with the Blackhawks will including improving fan experiences and driving revenues in all parts of the business. Both Faulkner and Bowman will report up to Danny Wirtz in the new business structure.

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