The Chicago Blackhawks have their next general manager. Kyle Davidson becomes the 10th GM in franchise history, the team announced today.
Davidson took over the general manager position on an interim basis after Stan Bowman resigned in October 2021.
The 33-year-old is a familiar face within the organization. He started with the Blackhawks as a hockey operations intern in the summer of 2010. Davidson has served as a hockey analytics/video analyst (2010-11), manager of hockey administration/operations (2011-18), assistant GM (2019-20), and assistant GM of hockey administration (20-21).
Old Guard, New Approach?
While he's been around the organization for a decade-plus, Kyle Davidson insists he'll bring a different approach to the job. "I’m not Stan [Bowman]. I’m a different person. With that comes philosophical differences," he said shortly after being named interim GM.
Davidson's biggest move as interim general manager was firing former Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton on Nov. 6, 2021. On the trade front, Davidson has made a pair of transactions during the 2021-22 season. The Blackhawks made a minor-league swap with the Maple Leafs to acquire Kurtis Gabriel in exchange for Chad Krys on Dec. 9, 2021. Davidson then shipped Bowman pet project Alex Nylander to the Penguins in exchange for Sam Lafferty on Jan. 5.
When the Blackhawks announced the beginning of their GM search process, filling the role before the March 21 trade deadline was a key priority. After interviewing six confirmed candidates, the Blackhawks elected to stick with Davidson.
"The thorough process we undertook affirmed much of what we believed we had in Kyle and he stepped up to lead and make tough decisions during his time in the interim role. He without a doubt met every qualification we were looking for, is passionate about the game and represents the high character across everything we do," Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said of the hire.
As for Davidson, he's ready to get to work on the Blackhawks roster and personnel.
"I'm committed to building a winning team on and off the ice the right way -- improving our internal framework and processes and working closely with a strong team of people to make decisions," the new GM said.
The NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching. The Blackhawks (19-27-8, 46 points) hold seventh place in the Central Division and are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Davidson will surely have his work cut out for him over the next three weeks as the Blackhawks are primed to be sellers at the deadline.
It will take time to build a winning roster, but Kyle Davidson has an opportunity to lay the foundation with effective trades in the immediate future.