(CBS) As much fun as Blackhawks president John McDonough has had seeing his organization win three Stanley Cups in the past six years, there’s still a standard the team has yet to reach in his mind.
“I would probably characterize this as a good run,” McDonough said in an interview on 670 The Score on Friday morning. “I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say ‘dynasty.’ You look at the Detroit Red Wings, the fact that they’ve made the playoffs … 24 years in a row, that’s that consistent excellence that we’re striving for. It’s been a lot of fun (for us). Not one minute through all of these Stanley Cup playoffs — every game is decided by one goal, no lead is safe. We learned that in the Anaheim game where they scored three goals in 37 seconds. But at the end, it’s been very rewarding.”
Chicago’s success comes with a cost, as it must often part with top-notch talent in a league with a hard salary cap. A prime example of this came just more than two weeks ago, when the Blackhawks didn’t have the money to retain to 22-year-old standout winger Brandon Saad,a restricted free agent who was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and then signed a six-year, $36-million deal. The Blackhawks reportedly offer Saad around $5 million annually.
“We made Brandon a very, very good offer,” McDonough said. “A very, very good offer. Ultimately, he was able to sign, in his eyes, what he deemed to be a better opportunity in Columbus. And that’s kind of how the system works. I would probably put all of that under unfortunate but inevitable. When you talk about a hard cap, there’s no exceptions. In a salary cap world, if you have success, so your team is successful in going to the Western Conference Final five times and you win three Stanley Cups, that means you have good players. Good players are going to be fairly compensated. They’re going to be compensated well. I think I would put this under the wonderful dilemma. As we reinvent the roster to some degree again, you look back and say this has transpired before. We’re adding some new players, but in the wake of all that, we’ve won three Stanley Cups. So we’ve had practice at it.”
Listen to McDonough’s full interview below. He also addresses the job coach Joel Quenneville has done, the in-season off-the-ice speculation and how he likes to create some healthy friction at times to spark the organization.