When the Blackhawks named Kyle Davidson the interim general manager on Oct. 26, 2021, CEO Danny Wirtz gave him full autonomy to make hockey decisions.
During that span, Davidson overhauled the coaching staff by letting go of head coach Jeremy Colliton and assistant coaches Sheldon Brookbank and Tomas Mitell after a disastrous start to the season, and traded Alex Nylander and prospect Chad Krys in separate deals. In addition, he made many roster transactions that most notably included top prospect Lukas Reichel being recalled on multiple occasions.
But as the interim GM, it was hard for Davidson to really put his own stamp on the current roster because the reality is, the long-term vision is what really matters. Is a rebuild on the table? Is retooling the way to go, again?
After officially being announced as the 10th GM in franchise history on Tuesday, Davidson provided a bit of glimpse of what he might be thinking. And he was straight-forward in his response about the direction of the Blackhawks.
"We’re going to look at more of a rebuild here," Davidson said. "There are some things that we really need to fix that are going to take time. We're not going to put a timeline on it, whether it's three, five [years], I don’t have that answer right now. That will be determined as we proceed.
"But we really need to do this the right way and we're going to stick to the plan and take our time with it and make sure that when we get to where we want to go, then it was the result of a plan that was stuck to and not deviated from."
The most important part of that quote is that Davidson intends on sticking with the plan, no matter what. Over the last few years, it was hard to decipher what the real goal was because it seemingly differed from season to season.
That won't be the case under Davidson, and it's the right approach — and a refreshing perspective.
"We have to do this the right way," Davidson reaffirmed. "We need to rebuild the prospect pool, we need to rebuild our roster in general and that takes time, and it’s going to start in the front office with new processes, new philosophies and new perspectives."
And yes, Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and CEO Danny Wirtz are both on board with the plan.
"From our perspective, we have both patience and time to get this right," Danny Wirtz said. "To Kyle's point, we have to get this right. Often times when teams get a little impatient is when the plan tends to short-circuit a bit and then we lose more time. So, we're going to give him the time he needs. I know he's going to manage expectations as that plan becomes more secure.
"One of the advantages about our family being in this for four generations is we’ve seen some ups and downs in this franchise, so we do have patience on our side built in. We’re as anxious as anyone to see a winning team, but we just want to do it the right way."
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