Hawks Insider

Hossa, Olczyk and Sharp to assist in Hawks' GM search


Marian Hossa, Eddie Olczyk and Patrick Sharp will be part of the advisory group that will assist in Chicago's search for a full-time general manager, the Blackhawks announced Monday.

Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz will lead the interview process alongside president of business operations Jaime Faulkner. Mike Forde of Sportsology — the founder of a consulting firm that performs internal assessments for sports teams and helps fill front office vacancies — and his staff will also offer their support throughout the process.

"Alongside other advisors, we will use their expertise and industry-leading strategy while looking for our next general manager," Wirtz said in a statement. "The perspective this group will provide is instrumental to this process and we are excited to have them assist the club with this important decision."

Hossa is clearly a respected and trusted figure within the organization and has stayed plugged into the NHL from afar. He won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks and was recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot.

In June of 2020, Hossa joined the Blackhawks Talk Podcast and said he hopes to be part of the team in some capacity in the future. Perhaps this is the first step towards bringing him on in a more expanded role with the Original Six franchise, if he's still interested.

"I have a strong [connection] with the Blackhawks," Hossa said at the time. "I'd love to still be part of it somehow. I miss being there right now because it's been too long. I haven't been to Chicago because of this virus, so looking forward to coming to Chicago and hopefully one day be part of the team again."

While it's a no-brainer to have him on the committee, it's a little surprising Olczyk didn't at least get consideration for the GM position, although he would probably be better suited for a head hockey operations-type role. 

League sources believe Olczyk could leave the broadcast booth for a front office position if the right opportunity presented itself, whether that's in Chicago or somewhere else. He's interviewed with at least three different teams in recent years that most notably included the New Jersey Devils, who conducted multiple interviews with Olczyk and had him on their list of finalists for a potential higher-level executive position in the summer of 2020, according to sources.

Sharp is another name Chicago is obviously very familiar with. He spent basically his entire Blackhawks career in a leadership role, serving as the alternate captain for all three Stanley Cup runs in 2010, 2013 and 2015. 

After wrapping up his playing career in 2018, Sharp worked as a studio analyst for NHL on NBC Sports and continues to do the same for the Blackhawks' pre- and post-game shows on NBC Sports Chicago. He was also hired by the University of Vermont — his alma mater — in the fall of 2021 to serve as an advisor to the coaching staff.

The Blackhawks are expected to begin the interview process this week and it sounds like they hope to make a final decision in the next few weeks. The plan is to have the full-time general manager in place before the March 21 trade deadline. Interim GM Kyle Davidson is a strong candidate to keep the job.

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz and president of business operations Jaime Faulkner are scheduled to host a townhall-style event on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to discuss "the greater vision of the organization moving forward."

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