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Left to right: John McDonough, Stan Bowman, Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky and Rocky Wirtz at an event at United Center to announce new players, Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky. (Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times)

Yes, the Blackhawks are in the midst of a short cold patch, but they're still the hottest team in town. And President John McDonough is seeing the benefits of success.

McDonough, in the third year of a five-year contract got an extension Monday through 2016. The man who helped bring the Blackhawks back to TV - and who helped make the Cubs a household brand name - will continue to improve momentum for the once moribund Original Six team.

"(McDonough's) commitment, insight and guidance have led the organization to record attendance, unprecedented season ticket sales, new sponsorships and partnerships with WGN Radio and WGN-TV," team owner Rocky Wirtz said in a memo Monday to executives of Wirtz Corp., which owns the Blackhawks and other businesses.

"Recently we sent a message that we were serious about the future and about winning the Stanley Cup by signing a key group of players to long-term contracts," Mr. Wirtz wrote in the memo. "Having a front office second to none will be critical to that success."

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