Blackhawks: Why Eddie Olczyk as team president makes sense
By Andrew Neave
The Chicago Blackhawks made the shocking and surprising announcement that long time CEO and president John McDonough was fired after 13 years. Could Eddie Olczyk fill that role?
On the 27th of April, the Chicago Blackhawks fire their long time president and CEO John McDonough. This was a shock to many people, especially after Rocky Wirtz gave the management team a vote of confidence last month.
There is no denying that McDonough improved the Blackhawks since he took over in 2007. The Blackhawks were not on the map compared to other sports teams in Chicago, but that all changed in 2009.
McDonough, early on, struck a deal to broadcast all 82 games, which was a first for this team. He made the fans want to come to watch their team. It helped start a sellout streak of over 500 home games. He brought three Stanley cups to Chicago in 13 years, which in the salary cap era, is very impressive
With the Chicago Blackhawks missing the last two Stanley cup playoffs and as it stands at the moment, things needed to change.
The minimum that should be expected of any Blackhawks team is making the playoffs. I expect more firings to happen before the 2020-21 season starts. This is where Eddie Olczyk might fit in as the team president.
Olczyk makes perfect sense for many reasons. He was born in Chicago, so he knows the city. He knows what this team means to the fans. In 1984 he was drafted 3rd overall by The Blackhawks and went on to play for his home town team.
Olczyk started his NHL career with the Blackhawks. He then moved on to play for several other teams, in a career that lasted 16 years. He retired as a Blackhawk too. He played over 1,000 games in the NHL and had two stints at Chicago for a total of five seasons.
Any player that has played in those many NHL games knows what is needed to win. He was apart of the 1994 Rangers, who won the Stanley Cup. Having a team president, that is a Stanley cup winner, can only be seen as a positive. He knows what it takes to win.
After hanging up his skates, Olczyk did a lot of commentating on hockey games. He was even given the opportunity to be a head coach of his former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. His coaching record isn’t great and after a year and a half, he was fired from that role.
Now though, Olczyk is a commentator and analyst for the Blackhawks. He took the role during the 2006-07 season. This means that he gets to watch a lot of Blackhawk games and this again can only be seen as an advantage. From watching games he will have his own opinion on what needs changing and what we are missing.
He is a well-liked person. He’s been around the NHL for a very long time now. Olczyk has built up a great network throughout the league which can only help him and the club by being a potential president.
These next few weeks will be an important one for the Blackhawks as they will no doubt talk and interview potential candidates for the president role. How many of them will have the passion, love, and knowledge for the city, and more importantly the Blackhawks than our very own Eddie Olczyk?