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Hawks GM Will Not Give Up


Heading into the 2020 offseason, it would be easy for Chicago Blackhawks GM Thomas Gidlow to tear it up.

After all, in his three-year tenure in the Windy City, it is fair to say that the Hawks have stagnated a bit. Taking the team from dead last in the 2016-17 season to near the top of the EHE standings the next season, Gidlow hasn't enjoyed the same type of success in the playoffs. Chicago has three straight first-round exits, losing in less games each year (seven in 2018, five in 2019, and four in 2020).

So the desire to start over from the bottom up is understandable. It's just not something Gidlow wants to do.

"I think we still have the core to compete for Cups," said the 36-year old GM. "We still have the assets to get us there. Now more than ever, we have to stay the course. I know it won't be easy, and it might be easier to tear it up and take a couple seasons "off" so to speak."

"But the organization and the fans here deserve a winner, and we're going to keep working hard to give them one."

Rumors have begun to swirl that the work has already begun. While Gidlow wouldn't comment on specifics due to the league's current moratorium on trade calls, several reports have indicated Chicago will be making a few deals once trading has opened up. One such deal reportedly includes a "top-flight" goaltender, while another may see a few of the team's veterans heading to a new destination in order to free up cap space.

In any event, Gidlow assures Blackhawk fans that despite the team being unable to get over the first round hump, there is no sense in giving up.

"I'm not built to give up," iterated Gidlow. "I came here to build a championship team, and thankfully our owners and our entire team really believes in the same thing."

Another rumor floating through the mill was Gidlow's possible interest in the new Seattle Kraken expansion team. While the EHE has made no announcements about the specifics of when a GM for the 32nd club will be named, the Kraken will hit the ice in the 2021-22 season.

Some reports had Gidlow nearly frothing at the mouth at the possibility. Gidlow doesn't completely refute his interest, but doesn't confirm it either.

"Any GM in the sports world would be lying if they said the opportunity to build a team from literal scratch wouldn't interest them," quipped Gidlow. "That being said, we've started something here and it's my intention to finish it. And finishing it means winning a Stanley Cup and putting this team on course to win more than one."

"As to 'frothing at the mouth', I'm not sure where you got that. Put a plate of chicken wings from The Fifty/50 in front of me, then yeah, I might froth a bit. Otherwise, not really."

Not really, indeed.


Gidlow did confirm a few roster moves on Tuesday. Magnus Paajarvi and Pheonix Copley will not be re-signed and will head to to the offseason as unrestricted free agents. As well, restricted free agent forwards Jack Rodewald and Tony Calderone will not receive qualifying offers and will also become UFA's. Rodewald was suspended toward the end of the regular season for conduct detrimental to the team, though appeared in four postseason games, scoring once and adding an assist...Daniel Audette has elected to sign overseas and will not be returning to the organization, though Chicago retains his rights should he return to North America.

Chip Whitley
Blackhawks Beat Reporter


Tommy Barr

Great read Thomas!

Hawks GM Will Not Give Up
Gidlow still feels Chicago has the assets to compete for a Cup

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