Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson held his end-of-season press conference on Tuesday afternoon. The very first question Davidson received from the media was regarding the recent hiring of Jeff Greenberg as associate general manager.
Greenberg spent the previous 11 years in baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, most recently serving as the club’s assistant general manager. But how could Greenberg — who has zero professional hockey experience — come into the Blackhawks’ front office and make an impact? After all, there will surely be skeptics of the decision to bring in a “baseball guy” to help fix a hockey team.
“The systems and the processes [MLB teams] have set up — specifically the Cubs in Jeff’s case — were things that really appealed to me and I saw a great, great value in,” Davidson said. “Coming from where he’s come from, in seeing the ground-up build with those systems and processes in baseball, it was just something I wanted to add.”
Greenberg’s Role With The Blackhawks
Greenberg’s duties will include building new computer- and app-based systems that will help streamline data and information, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. With the Cubs, Greenberg held a similar role, which aided in snapping the team’s 108-year World Series drought.
But what do those systems actually do, and how will they help the Chicago Blackhawks through their current rebuild? Davidson provided some clarity on that aspect as well.
“It’s not necessarily about baseball versus hockey or what he’s going to see on the ice versus anyone else,” Davidson said. “It’s more so, how do they make decisions in baseball… [those systems] are just much more efficient in gathering information, in how to synthesize and use that information based on player evaluation, on how to enhance player development. Those are the types of things that we want to bring into hockey.”
The Blackhawks don’t expect Greenberg to have a hand in day-to-day issues, but he will play a pivotal part in the front office nonetheless. For far too long, the Blackhawks have failed to properly evaluate and develop young talent from their minor-league affiliate Rockford IceHogs. If Davidson wants to go about the rebuild in a proper manner, the organization must undergo drastic changes in those departments.
Kyle Davidson firmly believes Jeff Greenberg will be successful in providing just that.
“What [Greenberg] brings is an improvement to our decision-making process and a sophistication to our information gathering that we just don’t have right now.”
Greenberg will begin his tenure as Blackhawks’ associate general manager on May 9.
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