(CBS) If as a fan you’ve ever wondered if your feelings of disgust regarding your favorite team matter to the power brokers in charge, this will be refreshing.
Blackhawks fans’ booing at the end of Chicago’s 5-0 loss to Nashville in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series in April was jarring to the organization’s top officials. President John McDonough acknowledged that in an interview with Mike Mulligan and David Haugh on 670 The Score on Monday morning while discussing the team’s recent moves — which included high-profiles trades of Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Coyotes and then Artemi Panarin the the Blue Jackets in exchange for Brandon Saad — and how to classify the recent roster overhaul.
“The expectations are we’re going to be in the mix, of course,” McDonough said in noting the Stanley Cup goal stays the same. “I would just put it under the category of changes. It’s not a rebuild, it’s not a retool. It’s just changes. When you’re in a salary cap world and you have a finite amount of money to spend, change is going to happen. During the 2016-2017 season, we had the second-best record in the history of the franchise. And you don’t necessarily anticipate that you’re going to get knocked out 1-0, 5-0 in the second game of that series. At home, we were booed out of the building. I hadn’t heard that before. It was a real shock. It was a real wake-up call and it was a tough night. You know, 1-0 after the first game — ‘OK, that’s certainly possible.’ But the second game was tough, then you had a 2-0 lead going into the third period of the third game and you lose in overtime. Certainly stunning, certainly a wake-up call, got everybody’s attention over at our place, and we’re going to try to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
McDonough understands why the exit of a player like Hjalmarsson, a key piece of three championship teams, hits everyone so hard.
“All of us would like in a perfect world for these players to stay their entire career with the Blackhawks,” he said. “I think in some instances it’s a sense of shock when these guys move. When they go to another team, it takes a while to sink in.”
Listen to McDonough’s full interview below.