Blackhawks Name Smith GM

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The Chicago Blackhawks named Mike Smith as the new general manager. Smith has performed most of the duties of a GM for the team for many months, working with Bob Pulford, who retains his title and duties as senior vice president.

"Mike has a vast experience of hockey knowledge that he brings to the Blackhawks," owner William Wirtz said. "He is extremely organized and his track record has proven his ability to build a contending team. We have confidence that Mike will take us in the direction that we are looking to go."

In May, Smith named Alpo Suhonen, an assistant with the Maple Leafs the past two years, as the NHL's first European-born and trained coach in the expansion era and made the team's draft picks in June, selecting Russians Mikhail Yakubov and Pavel Vorobiev in the first round.

The Blackhawks have not made the playoffs for the last three seasons and have gone through four coaches in the last two years.

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