12:12 PM ET
The Chicago Blackhawks are sticking with Kyle Davidson.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the Blackhawks officially named Davidson as the 10th general manager in franchise history. He had worn the interim GM tag since Oct. 26, when former GM and president of hockey operations Stan Bowman resigned after the results of an independent investigation into the club’s handling of sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich were made public.
Davidson, 33, was one of several candidates Chicago considered for the permanent GM position, which came down to three finalists in Davidson, Tampa Bay Lightning director of hockey operations Mathieu Darche and Chicago Cubs assistant GM Jeff Greenberg.
Also in the running were St. Louis Blues vice president of hockey operations Peter Chiarelli, former Montreal Canadiens assistant GM Scott Mellanby, Toronto Raptors vice president Teresa Resch and Carolina Hurricanes assistant GM Eric Tulsky.
Chicago had pledged to be thorough and transparent in their search, looking inside and outside the hockey sphere for that next leader. Ultimately, it was Davidson who won them over.
The Ottawa, Ontario, native started with the Blackhawks in 2010, as a 22-year-old intern and video analyst. Over the next decade, Davidson worked under and learned from Bowman while his own responsibilities increased. In 2018, Davidson was named assistant to the general manager, and the following year he was named assistant general manager.
After several months now of getting used to the GM role, Davidson will begin the long road towards rebuilding the Blackhawks. While Davidson wasn’t the most experienced potential hire Chicago met with, he is a known commodity to the organization, has a strong relationship with CEO Danny Wirtz and an understanding of where the franchise is trying to go.
The hurdles ahead for Davidson will be many, starting with how he’s going to convince Chicago’s beleaguered fanbase that he can turn things around. The scandal surrounding Beach and former video coach Brad Aldrich left a black mark on the franchise not soon to be forgotten, and the team’s on-ice play has been poor (Chicago is 19-27-8 this season, 25th overall in the league).
Davidson’s first task will be guiding Chicago through the NHL’s trade deadline, coming up on March 21. He’s scheduled to meet with the media for an introductory press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Source: ESPN NHL