Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz gives extension to president John McDonough

CHICAGO – Chicago Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz has rewarded team president John McDonough with a long-term contract extension through 2016.

McDonough, who came to the Blackhawks from the Chicago Cubs on Nov. 20, 2007, is widely credited with increasing the once-floundering team’s popularity through a marketing campaign.

The team now plays home games before sellout crowds, televises its home games and has emerged as one of the youngest and most talented squads in the NHL.

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In a memo, Wirtz said that the Blackhawks had sent a message when they recently signed three of their stars – Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith – to long-term deals.

McDonough spent 24 years with the Cubs, mainly as their marketing guru before becoming team president.