Departures of Jay Blunk, Pete Hassen headline another Blackhawks front-office shakeup

Two employees tied to the Bradley Aldrich scandal — James Gary and Marie Sutera — are also no longer listed in the Hawks’ front-office directory.

SHARE Departures of Jay Blunk, Pete Hassen headline another Blackhawks front-office shakeup
Blunk.JPG

Jay Blunk (left), seen here in 2010, has left his role as Blackhawks executive vice president.

Sun-Times file photo

The Blackhawks’ front office quietly experienced another shakeup this summer.

Jay Blunk, formerly the executive vice president, and Pete Hassen, formerly the vice president of marketing, headline a lengthy list of departures.

Blunk, who jumped from the Cubs to Hawks in 2008, had operated closely with former president John McDonough until McDonough’s sudden firing last year. Hassen had worked for the Hawks since 2005.

Blunk and Hassen join Norm Maciver, who departed for the expansion Kraken in January, atop the list of executives who have left the Hawks in 2021.

Two former employees connected to the Bradley Aldrich sexual-assault scandal in 2010 — mental skills coach James Gary and vice president of human relations Marie Sutera — no longer are listed in the Hawks’ front-office directory, either.

Gary was the first person the Hawks player Aldrich allegedly assaulted went to for advice in May 2010, but Gary convinced the player the assault was his own fault, according to a lawsuit. Three years later, Sutera told police investigating Aldrich’s assault of a high school student in Michigan that they would need a search warrant or subpoena to get information about Aldrich’s departure from the Hawks, according to police documents.

The Hawks, however, also have hired dozens of new employees this summer. New manager of hockey strategy Dominik Zrim, who previously founded the popular NHL contract-tracking website Capfriendly, and new TV studio analyst Colby Cohen are among the most public-facing of them.

The Hawks’ hiring spree, which has taken on a forward-looking focus during business president Jaime Faulkner’s first year, will continue in the coming months. Searches for new vice presidents of revenue and of marketing and content are underway.

‘‘Our new leadership has implemented operational and leadership changes within the front office that reflect the Blackhawks’ vision for the future and the required skillsets to best implement those plans,’’ the team said in a statement.

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