The Blackhawks’ front office has a new look.
On Wednesday, the team announced a trio of moves affecting its executive leadership team: Danny Wirtz has been named the Chief Executive Officer, Jaime Faulkner was hired as president of business operations and Stan Bowman was elevated to president of hockey operations and general manager.
The move effectively splits the organization’s hierarchy into two sides: one for hockey and one for business. It also brings stability back to the front office that has been in a state of flux since former team president John McDonough was fired on April 27 after 13 seasons with the team. Danny Wirtz — the son of Blackhawks’ owner Rocky Wirtz — has been in the interim role since then.
A press release from the team included this statement from Rocky Wirtz:
“When Danny Wirtz agreed to serve as our Interim President last Spring, he set into motion a strategy, structure and plan that today, is one that all Blackhawks fans will be proud of. Today, I am both pleased and proud to name Danny to the role of Chief Executive Office of the Chicago Blackhawks. His accomplishments over the past eight months have set the stage for a bright future, beginning with a new vision and countless hours of planning to back it up. No easy task. The fans, and the Wirtz family alike, can be very excited about what lies ahead.”
Bowman is in the early stages of his 19th season with the team and had been serving as the team’s senior vice president/general manager. In this role, Bowman will be responsible for everything involving the hockey product that the Blackhawks put on the ice.
The Blackhawks released this statement from Bowman:
“This is a special day for the Blackhawks organization and shows the bright future ahead for the team. I would like to thank Rocky and Danny Wirtz for their continued support and the opportunity to serve in this new role. Their leadership in developing the new organizational structure has set the stage for sustained success in the coming years.
I look forward to partnering with Jaime in the coming years. I enjoyed our conversations as a part of her interview process and I’m eager to learn from her as we collaborate on new initiatives. Jaime brings fresh ideas coupled with an analytical view of the industry. This new perspective will prove valuable as we shape the future vision of the Blackhawks.”
Faulkner joins the Blackhawks after being involved in the founding of E15, a consulting company in Chicago. After helping start the company, Faulkner served as its CEO for seven years.
This announcement appears to setup a similar divide between the operations of the business and the operations of the team, similar to what was used by the Cubs during the Theo Epstein regime.
It also appears to be an assertion that Bowman’s job security is not in question in the eyes of the Blackhawks’ ownership.