CHICAGO – The list of things on the Blackhawks’ first year general manager’s list is quite extensive as he embarks on a rebuild of the franchise over the next few seasons.
How long that will take Kyle Davidson to do is anyone’s guess as the franchise essentially starts over for the first time in nearly two decades.
The first major question for Davidson is the person who will take the permanent spot behind the bench during the 2022-2023 season. As he sets the course for the franchise when it comes to getting the personnel, that person will have to make it all work on the ice.
While he wasn’t ready to commit in any way to who and when that person might be chosen, Davidson did say that the person that holds the role in the interim will get his shot to get it.
Derek King, who took over for Jeremy Colliton after he was fired on November 6th, will be a candidate for the full-time job and will interview for the position. Many wondered if that would be the case after the franchise let assistant coaches Marc Crawford and Rob Cookson go at the conclusion of the season.
But Davidson made it clear the move had nothing to do with King, who went 27-33-10 in his 70 games leading the Blackhawks this season.
“With respect to Marc and Rob, we want to have a bit of clean slate here as we go into the next head coaching and coaching regime,” said Davidson. “They did some really great work for us. It was a tough year. Rob came in a pinch kinda halfway through, so it was really great to have them around but I just feel like new voices were needed.
“Not too much more than that.”
While Davidson knows that King is a candidate he set no official timeline for a hire, only to say the franchise would prefer to have someone in place early-to-mid July. That would be around the time of the NHL Draft which the Blackhawks will be in the lottery, currently holding the sixth-best odds for the No. 1 overall pick.
At least Davidson already knows what he’s looking for in the next on-ice leader for the team.
“We want the coaches who are able to communicate, that drive a message, that create a positive culture, and get players to wanna come to the rink and compete every single night,” said Davidson. “That’s based on track record, it’s also based on how they deliver a message.
“So we’ll learn that based on what they’ve done in the past and also through the interview process.”
Which will include the man who led the Blackhawks through most of the difficult 2021-2022 season.