Blackhawks’ coaching, front-office changes headlined by new trainer Joe Huff

Huff, who was previously the Ducks’ trainer, replaces Mike Gapski, who retired in April after 36 years. Huff is one of many additions across many departments made by the Hawks this summer.

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The Blackhawks made numerous staff changes over the summer.

The Blackhawks made numerous staff changes over the summer.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Blackhawks continued to expand their coaching and front-office staffs over the summer, making a number of new hires while also replacing a handful of people who left.

The most prominent new addition is new head athletic trainer Joe Huff, who comes to the Hawks after holding the same role with the Ducks for the last 10 years. Huff replaced legendary trainer Mike Gapski, who retired in April after 36 years with the Hawks.

Jennifer Gibson is the Hawks’ new head performance dietician, replacing Julie Burns. Gibson previously held the same role with the Bears from 2015 to 2022. Jamie Burr and Samantha Leavens also joined the Hawks’ physical and mental performance staffs, respectively.

The Hawks’ analytics department added two new employees — Zack Brusso as a senior software engineer and Dave Radke as a research and analytics advisor — and now lists eight members, reflecting tremendous growth in recent years. Brusso previously worked for the Cubs, as did many of the Hawks’ preexisting analytics employees; Radke received a PhD in multiagent systems earlier this year.

In the amateur scouting department, Cal Filson replaced Rod Braceful, who left for a new role with the U.S. National Team Development Program. Filson was previously the Seattle Thunderbirds’ director of player personnel, where he worked with several Hawks prospects. Andrew Contis, who has held a number of different roles with the Hawks, is also now listed as an amateur scout.

On the Rockford IceHogs’ staff, Matt Smith replaced Peter Aubry as goalie coach, Paul Sawyer replaced Anthony Allegrino as strength and conditioning coach and Alex Werner replaced Russ Holden on the equipment staff.

Within the Hawks’ business department, Jerry Ferguson is the new vice president of marketing after previously holding the same role for the Maple Leafs. He replaced Eryn McVerry, whose stint as the Hawks’ executive vice president of brand was short-lived.

Chris Weddige joined the Hawks early last season as vice president of membership sales and service — essentially heading the ticket-sales department — after seven years with the Cubs. He replaced Jim Bare.

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