By JAY COHEN | AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks hired Kyle Davidson as general manager on Tuesday, dropping his interim tag instead of going outside the floundering franchise for new leadership.
Davidson has been with the Blackhawks since he joined the organization as a hockey operations intern in 2010. The 33-year-old from Sudbury, Ontario, also has worked as a video analyst, hockey operations manager and assistant GM. He oversaw the team's salary-cap management before he was elevated to the interim GM job.
“Today is another step not just for me, but for my Blackhawks teammates within the organization and Blackhawks fans across the world," Davidson said in a statement. “I’m committed to building a winning team on and off the ice the right way — improving our internal framework and processes and working closely with a strong team of people to make decisions.”
Davidson was among six known candidates for the job. The team said it interviewed Carolina Hurricanes assistant GM Eric Tulsky, former NHL forward Scott Mellanby, longtime NHL executive Peter Chiarelli, Tampa Bay Lightning executive Mathieu Darche and Chicago Cubs executive Jeff Greenberg.
Former Blackhawks forwards Eddie Olczyk, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp assisted CEO Danny Wirtz and President of Business Operations Jaime Faulkner with the team's search. Mike Forde, the executive chairman of Sportsology and a former executive with Chelsea FC, also helped in an advisory role.
“Kyle is one of the final pieces of this new executive team that will lead the Chicago Blackhawks into the next generation," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement.
“Kyle’s fresh lens, integrity, commitment and knowledge of the game are all characteristics I believe make him the right person to structure the team on the ice.”
Davidson was elevated to the interim job after longtime general manager Stan Bowman resigned in October in the wake of a report by an outside law firm that found the organization mishandled allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player during the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2010.
The report also played a role in the departure of Al MacIsaac, another of Chicago’s top hockey executives, and the NHL fined the team $2 million for “the organization’s inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response.”
Two lawsuits related to Kyle Beach’s allegations that he was assaulted by then-video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010 were resolved in December.
Davidson made his first big move on Nov. 6, firing coach Jeremy Colliton and giving Derek King the job on an interim basis. He likely will wait until after the season to make any announcement on King's status.
Chicago (19-27-8) began this year with playoff aspirations, but it dropped its first nine games and never recovered. It has made just one postseason appearance over the past five years.
“We have a vision here for the future of Blackhawks hockey and today we are a step closer to that coming together," CEO Danny Wirtz said in a statement. “As an organization, we know we have a lot of work to do on and off the ice and Kyle is the leader we trust to oversee our hockey operations.”
The next big task for Davidson is making the most of the March 21 trade deadline. The Blackhawks traded their 2022 first-round pick to Columbus in the Seth Jones deal in July, and they would love to recoup that lost draft capital.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Calvin de Haan and forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik are among the Blackhawks who could be on the move.
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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap