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Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz gives extension to president John McDonough @NHL

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.

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.

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