It didn’t take Kyle Davidson long to start making changes to the Chicago Blackhawks front office. Just three days into his job as the 10th general manager in franchise history, he shook up his scouting staff.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelly and assistant general manager Ryan Stewart were both let go today. Both Kelly and Stewart have been with the team since 2007 and were a part of all three Stanley Cup championships.
Friedman obtained the statement from Kelley:
“I am very appreciative of my time with the Blackhawks. A special thanks to Rocky (Wirtz), who has been great to me, and especially my family. I’m very proud of the work my staff accomplished on Draft Day. We had a great run. I have nothing but good memories from my time with Blackhawks, and I wish the organization and their great fans the best of luck.”
Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times confirmed Friedman’s report with the Blackhawks. He was told that Mike Donaghey would oversee the team’s amateur scouting department on an interim basis. He also added that all pro scouts would report directly to Davidson until he gets his new staff in place.
Davidson promised changes on and off the ice during his introductory press conference on March 1. These first two moves are swift and bold as he let go of two of the longest-tenured front office members in one strike. There is no doubt that the Blackhawks need fresh eyes and ideas in the scouting department. Recent drafts have not produced the desired results, and player development needs to be the main focus as the rebuild begins.