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John McDonough praises Blackhawks, Wirtz family, fans in statement after firing

McDonough says he’ll “be forever grateful to them and proud of what we accomplished together.”

Stanley Cup Finals - Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after being fired as president and CEO of the Blackhawks, John McDonough released a statement praising chairman Rocky Wirtz, the Wirtz family and the Blackhawks.

“Rocky Wirtz gave me an amazing opportunity to preside over the Chicago Blackhawks 12 12 years ago,” McDonough’s statement read. “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.”

The Blackhawks won three Stanley Cup champions under McDonough’s tenure, but haven’t won a playoff series since the 2015 Stanley Cup Final and were poised to miss the playoffs for a third straight season when the NHL paused its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McDonough gave well wishes to Wirtz’s son, Danny who was the vice president of the Blackhawks and will be the team’s interim president during a search for McDonough’s successor. McDonough also said he’s “confident” the Blackhawks will have success in their search.

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

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