Tuesday afternoon the Blackhawks held a press conference to announce that their internal investigation had been completed. The results of which were handed over to the league, as well as made public.
The testimony by the investigation’s participants, which will not be discussed here, is unsettling, and the team’s ownership is committed to improving the organization. Even though what’s transpired can never be undone, hopefully, the public conference was some kind of vindication for the former players that were victims’ the team’s neglect which lead to the lawsuits against Chicago.
Whatever changes Rocky and Danny Wirtz implement will have to be significant, but those changes started on October 26, 2021, when Chicago parted ways with Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac.
It’s hard to imagine how the Chicago Blackhawks could have handled things much differently when their gm resigned, but the departure of Bowman is significant. Will the team re-commit to rebuilding, or will it stay the course and aim for a deep playoff run this year? It’s not often you see a team lose general manager and a president of operations in one clean cut, but Chicago did just that.
With Bowman gone, the team will have Kyle Davidson as interim general manager. Despite the team being rock-bottom in the NHL, there’s almost a whole season to play. Chicago was allegedly rebuilding, and then they weren’t, and a couple of weeks into the 2021-22 season the general manager is gone. Someone else now has to come in and sort out the mess that the team has become, and I’m not speaking about internal operations.
Chicago paid dearly for Seth Jones to join the team, and Rockford isn’t exactly overflowing with game-breaking talent. If the team doesn’t suddenly become incredible, then this bizarre off-season about-face was basically for nothing. What happens now is anybody’s guess. Roster composition is the general manager’s vision of what will make a Stanley Cup-winning team. With the spasms in recent years regarding the approach to acquiring and developing talent, yet another decision is going to have to be made about how best to proceed.
Could this mean that Davidson fires Colliton? Possibly. Jeremy Colliton has been on the hot seat, but his problems are partially the result of the roster Bowman built. With Bowman now gone, does Davidson begin re-tooling the former GM’s work? He may have to, and it might be interesting to see what kind of mandate he’s been given by Rocky and Danny Wirtz.