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The Blackhawks announced Wednesday that they officially formalized their executive leadership group, highlighted by the hiring of Jaime Faulkner as the new president of business operations after an extensive eight-month search.
But there was also a promotion, at least in the title, for Stan Bowman, who was elevated to president of hockey operations in addition to his general manager duties. The move sparked some debate within the fanbase on social media about what that means for the direction of the franchise and whether the promotion was warranted.
The story isn't the fact Bowman was promoted to president of hockey operations; he already had the title of vice president, so his responsibilities are no different than they were before. The main takeaway is that the Blackhawks didn't feel like a fresh set of eyes outside the organization was needed to help give Bowman and his staff a different perspective during their rebuilding process.
Bowman has full autonomy moving forward, and Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz confirmed that on Thursday.
"This was a chance to, with a clean sheet of paper, build these positions from scratch, essentially, and to make sure we have the right structure in place and then ultimately the responsibilities that go with that," Wirtz said. "For Stan, in many ways, it won't be a huge departure. But I think even the way in which it's structured is to give him the accountability, the complete line of sight, and obviously the support and empowerment from us to lead the hockey operations. And that's everything.
"He has the accountability and he's empowered to go and make the decisions and do the things we need to do to get our team back to that elite level."
The Blackhawks are proud of Bowman's body of work as a hockey architect and the role he played in building and reshaping three Stanley Cup-winning teams. And they believe in the vision he's set forth to get the Blackhawks back into contention.
"It was more about ensuring that he is positioned properly to lead that going forward," Wirtz said. "This isn't a reward for 2010. This is about, he is the one in the seat right now, driving this current strategy to get us back to that elite level. That's really what went into it. We have a lot of trust in Stan. His knowledge is great and he's a growth-minded leader. You don't always see that, especially people that have had success.
"A lot of people that have had success, that becomes the stopping point. They stop and they rely on that. The encouraging thing for us with Stan is that that is a great piece of his history, but his work is not done and he is not satisfied with just the previous success. He's hungry for more. He's hungry to grow as a leader and he's hungry to contribute another championship team to the Chicago Blackhawks."
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