After a decade of rebuilding, the NHL finally has a winner.
In the 2016-17 regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cups for the first time in nearly a century.
And they’re going to be back, this time with a coach and a GM that they can trust.
That was the message from former players who attended a conference call to announce the hire of Stan Bowman and Marc Crawford.
They included Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Sharp’s brother, Marian.
The NHL’s Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to elect the new coaches, general managers and general managers of the 2018-19 season.
The board will meet Wednesday in New York.
The Blackhawks have hired the former head coach of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Marc Crawford, as GM and president of hockey operations.
The team also announced Monday that the team has hired an assistant GM.
Kane, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, will become the Hawks’ first coach since Jim Nill took over as coach in 2003.
He spent four seasons as the head coach for the Dallas Stars.
Crawford, 55, will replace the retiring Jeff Blashill, who is expected to leave for the NFL.
The Hawks’ management has a long history of working with other top franchises, and the two-year deal for Crawford will be a big step forward.
The Blackhawks have a total of six GMs in the NHL now, but they have only one GM, Craig Berube, who led the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup championship in 2016.
Crawford was the head of the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2000-01 to ’03-04, and he spent eight years as an assistant coach with the Kings.
He has a track record of building teams, including the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators.
He also won the Calder Cup with the Los Altos of the American Hockey League.
Kanes’ contract with the Blackhawks runs through 2020-21, and Crawford will get a two years extension.
The Hawks will be paying Crawford $3.5 million annually.
The decision comes on the heels of the Blackhawks making a significant trade to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, and also a significant move to acquire defenseman Kyle Connor.
The deal is expected at the deadline.
Curry is one of the most respected hockey minds in the league, and his hiring will give the Hawks a major boost in terms of personnel.
He’s been with the team since 2010, and will have the confidence of a team that has a winning record in his first season as general manager.
The hiring of Crawford comes on top of an offseason of upheaval for the Blackhawks, who went through the worst season in franchise history, finishing 27th in the East.
They lost their first Stanley Cup since 2006.
The rebuilding process began in earnest last season, when the Hawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
But the team bounced back to win the Eastern Conference.
That win propelled them to the Stanley Championship, which they won three games to one.