Norm Maciver returns as Blackhawks’ associate general manager, overseeing scouting

Maciver, a Blackhawks executive from 2006 to 2021 before a brief stint with the Kraken, will “balance strong knowledge in hockey with new and innovative thinking.”

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25 years since playing for the Coyotes in this 1997 game against the Blackhawks, Norm Maciver was named the Hawks’ associate GM on Wednesday.

Sun-Times file photo

Norm Maciver has returned to the Blackhawks.

On Wednesday, he was named associate general manager, the first of many hires new GM Kyle Davidson is expected to make to flesh out the front office.

As associate GM, Maciver will oversee the Hawks’ pro and amateur scouting, essentially replacing the two executives who left the organization last week — Mark Kelley, the amateur scouting director, and Ryan Stewart, the assistant GM who led pro scouting.

“Norm brings that institutional knowledge and is one of the best talent evaluators in the business — pushing the boundaries on new methods and techniques that we need here at the Blackhawks,” Davidson said in a statement. “Norm has been a big help to me throughout my career personally, but he also isn’t afraid to share his opinion, and that is something that I respect most about him. He’s a great first step in building this out.”

After a 500-game playing career in the 1980s and ’90s, Maciver joined the Hawks in 2006 and spent 14 years in the front office, including eight years as an assistant GM.

But his relationship with ex-GM Stan Bowman soured in recent years, leading to Maciver’s demotion in 2020 and eventual departure in 2021 to become the Kraken’s director of player personnel. He spent a little over a year in that role.

“Kyle and I have a great relationship, and I believe in his vision for the team and the future of our hockey operations department,” Maciver said in a statement. “I’m thankful to the Blackhawks for this opportunity, and I’m anxious to get back to work in a place that has become home.”

Interim coach Derek King, who played against Maciver and worked with him during his Rockford coaching days, also offered his support.

“He knows how to evaluate these players and what they’re looking for,” King said. “If they are thinking of the rebuilds and looking at players and evaluating what we have here already, he’s the guy for it.”

The Hawks haven’t exactly followed through yet, however, on their promise to bring a much-needed influx of fresh eyes, voices and perspectives to the front office. Maciver, solid qualifications aside, is decidedly not new or fresh.

That should be a priority for Davidson as he makes additional front-office hires in the next few months.

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