The Chicago Cubs are quite familiar with losing members of the front office. After the team triumphed in the 2016 World Series, Theo Epstein’s ranks were pilfered by other organizations looking to recapture the magic created on the North Side as the Cubs went from Lovable Losers to perennial postseason contender.
But losing assistant general manager Jeff Greenberg, who spent the last decade with the club, working his way from an internship to becoming Jed Hoyer’s right-hand man, to the Chicago Blackhawks is definitely a new one.
"“Obviously, Jeff’s a big loss, but when you hire really good people and you watch them develop, your hope is they go elsewhere and they have a ton of success,” Hoyer told NBC Sports Chicago. “I always assume that success would come with other baseball teams, and that’s always difficult when their success comes against you. It’s kind of nice it’s hockey. I can become a huge Blackhawks fan and don’t have to worry about playing against them.”"
Greenberg, who, despite a decade in baseball, is still just 36, steps into the associate GM role with the Blackhawks. The team passed on him in its GM search, instead sticking with internal candidate Kyle Davidson.
The golden era for the Hawks, similar to the Cubs, is a distant speck in the rearview mirror. The team sits near the bottom of the Western Conference standings and are ready to tear things down to the studs. Greenberg, of course, knows this and will now get a front row seat at Davidson and ownership gets the ball rolling.
"“What I’ve learned about the Blackhawks is they’re serious about using this rebuilding period to not only set this franchise up to be the best in hockey, but the best in all of sports moving forward,” Greenberg said. “There couldn’t be a more exciting time to get in on the ground floor of this journey and pursue every possible solution to put this team back on the path to winning hockey.”"
As for the Cubs, there’s no currently known plan to replace Greenberg. But with Hoyer and GM Carter Hawkins in place, at least the top spots in baseball ops have people in the seats. We’ll see who the team brings in to fill the void – but, for now, Chicago sports fans can watch Greenberg and see if he can bring magic back to the United Center.