The “W” flag, John McDonough and…Jeff Greenberg? Could the current Chicago Cubs assistant general manager be the last to jump from the Friendly Confines to Madhouse on Madison?
Greenberg would be one of three finalists remaining for the Blackhawks’ GM open slot. The other two are current interim general manager Kyle Davidson and Tampa Bay Lightning director of hockey operations Mathieu Darche.
But Greenberg is undoubtedly the most intriguing. The only hockey included in his resume is his playing days for the University of Pennsylvania club team. Since graduating there and at Columbia Law School, he has interned for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks and MLB’s Labor Relations Department.
It’s not uncommon, however, to see the NHL borrow from Major League Baseball. Look at Jon Morosi. And it’s not the only thing that each league’s network has in common. Both channels spend a lot of time focusing on stats-based content. Sports are becoming more numbers-based every day, whether an older generation likes it or not. So if Jeff Greenberg has experience handling the budget, officiating, roster building, and trade talks in a sport, why shouldn’t we believe he could lean on hockey people and use the analytical side of player evaluation to fill in what it lacks in the other? A source who worked with Greenberg thinks it’s all possible.
“He’s got that kind of bandwidth and intelligence to pick up on these things quickly, with that innovative spirit to make them better. I know he has contacts in the NHL on the analytics side that could help him fill in some of the gaps. if he got that role.
On the personality side, Greenberg received a glowing response.
“A lot of times he’s the smartest in the room, but he has a very blue-collar work ethic. He wants to earn people’s respect through the quality of his work. For me, he has a combination of humility, work ethic and crazy intelligence.He is incredibly passionate about hockey.
As soon as Greenberg was publicly listed as a candidate, the connections were easy to make. In December, Frank Seravalli of Daily face-to-face reported that the Blackhawks front office met with Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to discuss the search for GM. Cubs business manager Colin Faulkner is the husband of Blackhawks president of business operations Jaime Faulkner. Additionally, John McDonough is an example of a front office executive making the leap. McDonough left the Cubs in 2007 to become president and CEO of the Blackhawks, orchestrated by Rocky Wirtz.
CEO Danny Wirtz, Jaime Faulkner, Marian Hossa, Eddie Olczyk, Patrick Sharp, Mike Forde and his group of Sportsology will all be involved in choosing the new Blackhawks general manager. NHL trade deadline is March 21st.
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