Grading Stan Bowman’s Moves: Trades

Earlier this week we looked back at and evaluated the free agent moves Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman made between the end of the 2010-11 season and the final horn sounding against Phoenix.

Now, let’s consider the trades Bowman made when shaping the 2011-12 Blackhawks roster.

Bowman made four trades in June last summer, though they ultimately resulted in three acquisitions taking place.

Blackhawks acquire 1st round pick (#26 – Philip Danault)
Capitals acquire rights of free agent forward Troy Brouwer

The full impact of this deal cannot be completely graded yet, because the draft choice that resulted in Danault has just started his professional career. There is a lot of promise in Danault, who had a fantastic season in juniors.

After signing a two-year, $4.7M deal with the Caps, Brouwer took a step back this year in most statistical categories. For the third straight year his point total went down, this time to 33. He did score 18 goals, but his assists were down and his plus-minus plummeted to minus-15. With that being said, there is no question that Brouwer was missed in the locker room in Chicago and on special teams.

Considering Brouwer’s cap hit was only $350k more than the Hawks paid Andrew Brunette, and the Blackhawks had cap space to burn this year, one has to wonder out loud how the Blackhawks could have been better if Brouwer had been skating in Brunette’s place this year. Fears that he wanted a long-term deal were put to rest when he signed a two-year deal.

While we cannot completely grade this deal until more is known/seen from Danault, we can grade the impact of the deal on the 2011-12 season.

Grade:

Blackhawks acquire rights to defenseman Steve Montador
Panthers acquire rights to forward Tomas Kopecky
Sabres acquire seventh round pick from Florida

There were a few days between two trades, but ultimately the Blackhawks traded Kopecky for Montador with a conditional seventh round pick being moved between three teams i the process.

We already discussed the impact of Montador while looking back at the free agent deals Bowman handed out (we gave the Montador acquisition a “C”). But the difference between this deal and the Brouwer deal is that Kopecky was looking for a long-term deal and got it, signing a four-year, $12M deal with the Panthers.

Kopecky’s production took a step back this year as well, decreasing by 10 points. Montador has a lower cap hit than Kopecky and added a veteran piece to the Blackhawks’ blue line that wasn’t available from within the organization.

Grade:

Blackhawks acquire forward Rostislav Olesz
Panthers acquire defenseman Brian Campbell

The deal opened up up $7,142,875 for Bowman to use during the five seasons that remained on Campbell’s contract. When the season ended, the Blackhawks had over $3.8M in available cap space and were carrying extra bodies.

Olesz spent the year in Rockford. Campbell was an All-Star with 53 points for the Panthers. The Hawks power play was a disaster all season, clearly missing Campbell. The hopes that 20-year-old Nick Leddy would replace him did not work out as well as management had hoped, either.

There are four more years of cap space available for Bowman to make an impact on the NHL roster without spending big bucks on Campbell. But so far, this deal couldn’t have worked out much worse.

Grade:

Blackhawks acquire forward Brendan Morrison
Flames acquire defenseman Brian Connelly

Connelly was an AHL all-star in Rockford, but reality was that he was never going to get a shot at the NHL with the Blackhawks organization. Morrison was a veteran rental that sat for most of the available games after he was acquired on Jan. 27, but played fairly well in limited postseason action.

Grade:

Blackhawks acquire defenseman Johnny Oduya
Jets acquire 2013 second and third round draft picks

Oduya was fantastic to finish the regular season next to Leddy on the Hawks’ blue line. He had five points and was plus-three in 18 regular season games.

In the playoffs, Oduya looked lost. He had three assists, but handled the rubber about as well as Snooki’s boyfriend. The team, and the fans, had hoped to see the same Oduya that had been so good for those final 18 games, but he looked every bit the rookie that Leddy and Dylan Olsen were in the six game series.

This grade should be more of a To Be Determined than the Brouwer trade, because we don’t know what the Jets will do with those two picks and whether or not the Hawks will bring back Oduya. But we do have the end of the regular season and playoff series finished.

Grade:

For a complete list of Bowman’s history as general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, click here.

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10 Responses to Grading Stan Bowman’s Moves: Trades

  1. Tom Jaremka says:

    Well Tab, as usual, you did your homework. I wouldn’t mind seeing Oduya back in a Hawk uniform, but not at 3mil. 1.75mil is more like it. Then, maybe we go get Tomas Vokuon for 2.5 mil. I know that sounds crazy, but we need stability in net. The problem is that the Hawks LOVE Crawford. The players, the coaches, upper management and even the equipment people LOVE him. He’s a nice young man, but at 27-28 he is exactly what he is.

    It’s possible that another goaltending coach can polish some of his faults, but I doubt it.

  2. Brad Stevenson says:

    Thanks for another very good article Tab…

    Starting with Brouwer, its all about NOW in the NHL and we clearly took a major hit…for an extra $350K we could have used Brouwers services this year, meaning we never would have had to endure the Brunette experiment…would Brouwer been enough to get past PHX? No, but likely he would have given us at least another 6 points during the regular season, and that would have meant first in the division. As for Danault, as you know, I am a fan of this young man…he’s a winner, he’s physical, he’s plays 2 way hockey, and he oozes character…I think this might end up working out in our favour, but again, NOT NOW!

    I am not sure why the Montador “rights” trade nets a B…Montador proved to be a disaster, and may never play for us again, plus Bowman is paying him almost $3 million a year to be terrible….maybe you were applauding the structure of the deal, moving Kopecky for the rights to another pending FA made sense…the player Bowman chose did not.

    So true with Campbell…Bowman HAD to spend that CAP money making this team tougher and harder to play against…he didn’t…instead we got Olescz in Rockford and we were paying him over $3 million…BRUTAL, to say the least.

    Morrison for Connelly was a wash I guess, because Connelly was never going to get a shot with the Hawks, and Morrison got his shot but was never going to produce. So hardly a B…Morrison was a massive disappointment.

    The Oduya trade looked solid during the regular season, but the NHL is all about the playoffs, and he was awful there…and as he is not what this team really needs on defence, he might be gone as well. So a B is a little generous. Overall, Bowman has struck gold with his drafts, and has done a subpar to awful job with FAs and Trades. He must get better with those 2 aspects of his job, if we ever hope to get back to the finals.

  3. Dave says:

    Wasn’t Salak part of the Campbell trade as well?

  4. stealthwise says:

    Dave: No, Salak was acquired in a separate deal.

    You know, the Campbell deal hurts this year, because Brian managed to have a great season and prove his worth, but let’s be honest here, he still has, what, five more years at that huge salary left on his contract? That’s too much cap space to carry for a guy that was unfortunately relegated to 2nd pairing and had little opportunity to put up the quality numbers you expect from a guy making seven million a season.

    Olesz sucks, but that’s the only issue I have with the deal, we took back too much salary just to unload a very useable player. Hopefully Vancouver has to deal with the same issue with Luongo, although quality goalies this year are proving to be useful (unlike 2010).

  5. Logan Reilly says:

    What the hell is a “Snooki”?

  6. marilyn cali says:

    I have always liked Campbell a lot. He certainly made a big difference when the Hawks won the cup in 2010….coming back shortly into the playoffs, he made a big difference…..however, I felt, and still feel, that getting rid of his large salary was a good move… you can look at his stats with Florida, but he was getting a lot more minutes there than he would have gotten here, so it’s like comparing apples and oranges….also, Florida goes out in the first round, too.

  7. ClusterPuck says:

    You are short-sighted on the Campbell deal. I miss Soupy as much as anyone. But you had a one-year window to dump of high-cap hit low cash contract to a team who has to get to the salary cap floor. There is a high chance the new CBA will lower the floor and and possibly the ceiling on the salary cap. Soupy is not the reason the Hawks didn’t get past the first round, and if that contract is still on the books you are gonna have to lose a core player.

  8. Tab Bamford says:

    Am I short-sighted when the final paragraph regarding the Campbell deal pretty much says exactly what you did in your comment? The Hawks have four more years of cap space to use wisely. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that the Blackhawks could have used Campbell this year. These grades were, across the board, focused on the immediate, 2011-12 application of each deal. I didn’t ignore the potential for there to be a long-term positive impact on the Hawks roster from the deal, but you cannot deny the fact that it didn’t work out very well in the short term.

  9. ClusterPuck says:

    @Tab, as far as long-term. I guess it depends how much you value Patrick Sharp. Does his 5yr deal get done with Campbell’s still on the books? Probably not, because the cap-math wouldn’t work. I agree the Hawks are better with Campbell, and no one thought Olez would be anywhere other than RockVegas eventually. I agree the jury is still out on this deal, but the fact you can extend Sharp with this move should garner something higher than the F.

  10. Harry says:

    And let us not forget who the GM is in Florida. Dale Tallon, the man who brought you, your 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago BlackHawks. Not Stan Bowman! Nuff said.

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