Ten Years of Stan – Trading The Future

Last week we looked back at a decade of drafting by Stan Bowman as the Blackhawks general manager. There were some early hits for the Bowman Regime, but the second half of the decade has been a struggle. There are some picks over the past three years that give us hope, but the track record of inability to develop and eventually play in the NHL or trade before realizing the potential of a prospect give us pause.

Now, let’s twist the knife in our back. Let’s discuss Bowman’s best and worst trades of the decade.

For reference, you can view Bowman’s complete history as GM of the Blackhawks here.

Stan’s Best

Feb. 10, 2010 – traded defenseman Cam Barker to Minnesota for defensemen Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy.

The deal everyone points to as the high point of Bowman’s tenure as GM was almost ten years ago. Leddy, then a freshman at the University of Minnesota, had promise but was a bit of an unknown. Barker had a strong start to his career but faded. Over the years to come Leddy became a terrific defenseman for the Blackhawks; Barker was playing in Europe four years later.

February 9, 2011 – traded forwards Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan to Florida for forward Michael Frolik and goaltender Alexander Salak.

The Blackhawks effectively traded nothing for Frolik, who had a nice run with the Blackhawks. He wasn’t the kid who scored 21 goals his first two season in the NHL but he became a terrific special teams player and gave the Hawks 10 points in the 2013 postseason.

Febuary 27, 2012 – traded second (#61 – Zach Sanford) and third round (#91 – JC Lipon) picks in the 2013 NHL Draft to Winnipeg for defenseman Johnny Oduya.

If you look back at the comments when this deal went down, Blackhawks fans were not thrilled the team gave up two mid-round picks for a guy many doubted. But Oduya became an incredibly important part of the Blackhawks’ blue line. Skating with Niklas Hjalmarsson, Oduya helped the Hawks win two Stanley Cups in his four years in Chicago.

April 1, 2013 – traded a 4th round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft to San Jose for center Michal Handzus.

On the surface this wasn’t a sexy deal; many doubted that Handzus, who has been with the Hawks seven years prior, anything left in the tank. Handzus came in and won faceoffs and, somehow, provided 11 points in 23 postseason games to help the Blackhawks in their second Stanley Cup victory. The kicker on this deal: the pick Bowman sent to San Jose was the Sharks’ own pick! Bowman acquired the pick on June 23, 2012 and sent it back to where it started for a guy who became a critical piece of a championship.

February 28, 2015 – traded defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and a first round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to Arizona for center Antoine Vermette.

Like the Handzus deal, this one brought in a guy who made a big impact on a championship run. Though there was some friction between Vermette and Joel Quenneville (read: healthy scratches) and Vermette was a rental, he was exactly what the Hawks needed at the time. If we fast forward to this week, the pick Arizona received (#30 in the 2015 NHL Draft) became Nick Merkley, whow as just traded to New Jersey in the deal for Taylor Hall.

June 24, 2016 – acquired two second round picks (#39 Alex DeBrincat & #45 Chad Krys) in the 2016 NHL Draft from Montreal for forward Andrew Shaw.

Losing Shaw left a physical void on the Blackhawks roster, but DeBrincat has become a terrific scorer for the Blackhawks. Krys is still skating in Rockford, and Shaw is now back in Chicago.

Stan’s Worst

March 4, 2014 – traded a second round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (#58) to Phoenix for defensemen David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisbois.

Rundblad was one of many lottery ticket deals Bowman has made over the years. Lots of sex appeal but it never added up to consistently decent play in the NHL. Rundblad was a source of a lot of frustration while with the Hawks, and Brisbois never made an impact. The pick Chicago sent to the Coyotes turned into Christian Dvorak. Also of note, Brayden Point was still on the board at 58.

October 4, 2014 – traded defenseman Nick Leddy and goaltender Kent Simpson to the New York Islanders for defensemen T.J. Brennan and Ville Pokka and the rights to restricted free agent goaltender Anders Nilsson.

This deal came as the season began, and the Blackhawks and their cap issues had to choose between Leddy and Oduya. When it happened, many felt the Hawks chose poorly. Chicago wound up getting nothing from this trade.

July 10, 2015 – acquired defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt from Dallas for forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns.

Another deal that was necessary because of the cap, the Hawks needed a body on the blue line and the end of Sharps’ time in Chicago was upon us. Daley was supposed to replace Oduya; he never fit. And Johns, who has been dealing with health issues in Dallas, was a big body on the blue line who could have used a chance to prove his worth in Chicago.

February 26, 2016 – acquired forwards Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann from Montreal for center Phillip Danault and a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (#38 – Alexander Romanov).

If everyone points to the Leddy acquisition as the high point of Bowman’s resume, this is the low point of his trade record. Danault should have been the perfect center for the Hawks’ system to compliment Toews. He continues to be a big part of Montreal’s roster. In return, the Blackhawks got little more than frustration. This trade was a debacle at best.

June 23, 2017 – traded forwards Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte with a sixth round (#170 overall) draft pick in the 2017 NHL Draft to Columbus for forward Brandon Saad, goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (#142).

This deal remains a mixed bag. Could the Hawks have been able to afford Panarin when he hit free agency this past winter? Not at a $10M cap hit. And Saad has re-emerged as the forward Hawks fans loved in his first run in Chicago. Columbus selected Jonathan Davidsson with the pick they received in the deal; he has appeared in six NHL games. Chicago packaged the fifth round pick in 2018 to move up in the third round that year to select Niklas Nordgren.

July 9, 2019 – traded defenseman Henri Jokiharju to Buffalo for forward Alexander Nylander.

While some might argue the jury is still out on this trade, Jokiharju has ten points and is averaging almost 17 minutes per game for the Sabres. Nylander has shown that he is who Buffalo thought he was.

54 thoughts on “Ten Years of Stan – Trading The Future

  1. This says it all! Explains why we are where we are- and we won’t get better until Stan goes back into accounting! Nice summary

  2. This column comes on the morning that the Hawks find themselves in 13th in the Western Conference. 7 games are left until the mid-season mark.

    It’s time for Wirtz and McDonough to embrace the rebuild. They can even spin it, that the decade is over and what a great one it was, 3 Stanley Cup victories.

    New decade. We are going to draft and develop and the movement has already started.

    Sell at the trade deadline. See if we can acquire another first rounder. A top 5 pick in June and another blue chip prospect later in the round would reset the positive button much like last June after drafting Dach and nabbing Vlasic.

  3. So as we stand this morning the Hawks find themselves in 15th place in the Western Conference.Yes,that is last and by the looks of the upcoming week only sinking deeper.The common denominators to these trades are either salary cap or a couple of deadline trades to solidify a Cup run.All the moves seem to lack a vision for the future and are based on desperation.

  4. Agree that establishing layers of prospects coming through system and keeping it stocked is priority. Is Bowman going to be the guy trusted to try and continue that process? To me he is tied to close to a coach who isn’t working out, place blame where you want, everybody has their own opinions there, but fact is it isn’t working.

    Some trades there were knee jerk reactions to try to manage cap, or finding the missing playoff piece, more thought out coulda likely changed things for the better.

  5. Plan for future
    1. Fire Bowman
    2. Fire Colliton
    3. Finish in last place
    4. Draft Alexis Lafrenière
    5. Sell at the trade deadline, only players I wouldn’t trade is Kane, Keith, Dach, Debrincat & Kubalik. I’m on the fence about Strome.
    6. Who do we keep Crawford or Lehner? The easy choice is Lehner, but in my opinion Crawford is better still with his mileage and is light years better one on one, shootouts etc. I say small contract until he wants to retire and draft a goalie in the next couple of years to develop. We aren’t going to win a cup in the next 3 years….
    7. Focus on acquiring young talented defenseman. I don’t trust Bowman to acquire anything to do with defense, or Colliton to develop them.
    8. When there is a rebuild you can’t do everything so I don’t expect us to just acquire a bunch of great fowards or draft them, so it is what it is at this point…. Who would you even bring up in Rockford?
    9. The only two prospects I would really love to see is Mitchell and Barratt in a Blackhawks sweater neither are in Rockford…..

  6. Probably my favorite piece ever written on Committed Indians. Have been angry over the Danault trade (among others) for years. I will say Strome for Schmaltz should go in as a win for Bowman however…that being said the Jokiharju trade was the back breaker for me. I blame Colliton just as much as i do Bowman on that one. The kid was un-coachable? Come on, he seems to be doing just fine in Buffalo, I really was all about giving him a chance but maybe Jeremy should have been the one that was moved instead of Jokiharju.

  7. This is an excellent overview and analysis; Bowman’s short sided trading is more responsible than his drafting for the Hawks’ current state of affairs. He has traded away (multiple times) good players that he had the sense to draft in the lower first round (Danault, Teavo & Jorki).

    I would add the Desjardins trade as well to his positives, same time as Vermette trade. Ironically, Ben Smith & Desjardins are playing on the same team now in Europe. I would rather see one of them exported in instead of Sikura playing….

    Good day to all.

  8. Lord help the Hawks if the Avalanche are able to get McKinnon,Rantannen line out against Strome&Nylander/Gus or Boqvist.Could get ugly in a hurry.

  9. Nice info Tim. Dennis Gilbert is a -10 in how many limited games? Seabrook is not going to win the Norris Trophy this year, but if the plan is to try and win the game, it’s a no brainier who should be playing. Gilbert is tough, that’s about it. He makes mistake after mistake in his own zone.

  10. Everyone should remember that the core of those cup teams was not assembled by Bowman. What has he done? He has given away future successes too many times and has presided over a playoff drought in a sport where enough teams qualify. He has got to go.

  11. Nice summary. Every one of those is of declining worth. Nice to see Stain laid out for what he is, a nothing GM with nothing to offer. The sooner him, JC and McDonut are gone the better!

  12. Got to agree with the last comment. Bowman didn’t build this team. Tallon did. Tallon was let go because he didn’t think the had cap would happen and he ended up having to pay several players more money because of it. Bowman has traded away future talent because of bad contracts that were given out “ by him “. Look at where all his first round picks are now?

  13. Definitly leaning toward sell mode but concerned with who is the man making those deals and talent evaluator. Somethings got to give….soon!

    On another note, Jon Cooper, who I still think is the best coach in the league, benched MVP Kucherov for the whole third period last night after a costly turnover. Reminded me of Q with Kaner early on.

  14. Giving big contracts to players just because they had a good playoff has killed this team. The insane contract Stan gave to Bickell ended up costing us Teuvo. I’ll never get over that one. Tallon built the foundation of the cup teams and Stan could not maintain it well enough. Time for a GM and coaching change. Marc Crawford returns just after New Years. I’m hoping that means something.

  15. The rumor seems to be that they are giving Crawford an opportunity to breakdown the team and present what he would do with the eye on replacing Colliton on the 2nd of January in Vancouver.I doubt that but who knows?Also Colliton stated this morning in regards to Seabrook that they had to find room for Keith and some of the young defensemen who were playing well.Can someone tell me about those well playing young d men????Just say that Seabrook is sitting.You dont have to make stuff up to justify it.This team is a disaster area so Seabrook sitting does not bother me.But it could be Gus,s turn pretty soon also.Might want to help Gilbert out a bit by pairing him with Keith.

  16. The writer over at the Hockey Buzz seem to think that Collition is tactfully sound is just finding his way in the Best League in the World.I would respectfully disagree.When you cant match lines,put the proper personell out in the last 5 minutes of a game,or understand anything about in game adjustments along with playing a system that does not fit your players,I am still not sure what system he is trying to play,that is not finding your way.That is incompetence.

  17. The Bickell contract made sense at the time. Winning power forwards are hard to come by. The guy had ms. Get real. He was worth the money. Heck he DID help win the 2015 Cup with a physical presence despite taking a beating and having MS. The Bickell bashing is ridiculous. Blame Stan for not working a better trade if anything. I have trouble believing he couldnt have moved Bickell in another type of deal and move Teuvo in a separate trade for picks or something. Either way Teuvo was going to be exposed in draft for vegas or moved elsewhere.

  18. There have been persistent rumours of Montreal interested in Gus. Hopefully they are true, and this is the reason he is not sitting.

    Good post Honest Guy.

  19. How much more stupidity do we have to take from this GM and coach. Playing both Boquist and Gus against the Avalanche is crazy. Have one of them on with Kane , Nylander and Strome and your basically begging to be scored upon. Again Nylander in the line up ? No wonder this team has quit on this coach. Since Seabrook is sitting maybe he can go behind the bench and put JC in the press box. I guarantee it won’t be any worse.

  20. Love people mad about Seabrook being scratched tonight.
    Gilbert and Boqvist are going to struggle in their own end at times what young dman doesn’t.
    If their up they should be playing simple as that.
    As far as Gus no excuses he’s been pretty much terrible.

    Other then Keith, Maatta Murphy and a healthy de Hann you can say the rest should be scratched more often.

    Seabrook will be back in the lineup tomorrow.

  21. Not angry that Seabrook is sitting. How many more free passes is Nylander going to get. Honest Guy I agree with your comment about Bickell contract Tevo should not have been part of the deal . Stan could have tried to make a deal with Vegas to not take Tevo, like many other teams did. If that would not have worked then trade him for some value

  22. After reading this piece, I had to comment. Who trades away Panarin, Danault, Schmaltz, Joki, and Tuevo? I am not a hockey guy, but even I know elite talent. All five of these guys showed in a short period of time that you don’t trade them, you build around them. Now, IMO our new core is not better than these players that Stan traded away. Let me ask you, who would you rather have Panarin, Schmaltz, Danault, Joki, and Tuevo or Saad, Strome, and Nylander?

    Say good night Stanley, it’s time to go!

  23. If Marc Crawford takes over as being suggested, having a Keith, Gus and Boqvist on each pairing, is more viable for Crwafords run and gun offensice coaching style. Unlikely Gus stays around and Seabrook won’t be sitting every night but does give more of a Crawford look than Colliton.

  24. Again under the heading ‘if only it was that easy’ Tommy Ivan– 100% of the time you would take those 5 over those 3. But you can’t make that comment in isolation.
    It’s not that simple-make the argument that it’s time for Bowman to go (and it is when they have the right plan behind it)
    Cap problems, previous decisions, Vegas, future signing issues, etc etc.

    Would love to have Danault and Joki back.

  25. And at the time of the Danault trade, the Hawks we’re playing “lights 0ut” hockey and at the top of their game. There was no need to make this trade. Horrific deal.

    And Jokijarju for a young Alex Lifeson (Nylander) still makes me sick.

    And I know Hammer was a cap issue, but Murphy is not an apples to apples comparison. And the guy named Dauphin who was part of the deal never panned out.

  26. @Noonan, I know you’re right that it’s not that cut and dried, and there were other variables. But, he didn’t need to trade Danault, Joki, or Panarin! Tuevo, I guess, because he had to use Bickell’s cap space to pay Toews and Kane, but I would have traded someone else. You could see that Tuevo was going to be special. Schmaltz for Strome, it’s close between them, so that’s a wash. Also, the first Saad trade was unnecessary too! I just don’t think he has a vision or plan, and if he does he deviates from it in a heartbeat, and panics. Case in point, Joki was going to our next generational defensemen and leader, and then he trades him for a question mark. Where is the logic? Stan got us to Point A, but he is just not the right guy to get us to Point B – next man up!

  27. Pretty surprising to see the love for Seabs after all the brutal comments the past two years. We are in last place in the conference so we need to find out if the young guys can play, We also need to keep playing Gus for potential trade partners.

    Sometimes this board is like watching the movie Groundhog Day with the never ending scene of Dale Tallon leading the Hawks to 3 cups.

  28. You got it MS.
    Someone needs to sit if you want kids to play. It’s simple math. Seabs has been the punching bag for quite a while, and some of that was certainly valid. We need to evaluate the kids at this level. It can be hard to do though, considering most of the game we are covering our eyes!!

    Having said that – the first callup of Boqvist was a much better showing than the 2nd. He has been borderline horrid! I’m not sure how you protect him tonight.

  29. I can see playing one youngster, but two that haven’t been any great shakes of late? Also could demotivate core but we shall see.

  30. When Boquist was called up the second time I thought it was because of injuries to the Dmen. Now that Keith is back, IMO Boquist should be playing in Rockford where he can play big minutes in all situations. It would better serve his development .

  31. If the coach’s statement about why Seabrook is sitting is fact and rationale based, then why is Keith playing? I think he’s two years older than Seabrook w the same amount of mileage on him.

    The coach is a joke. Thanks Bowman.

  32. I think we all agree that Seabrook sitting is fine.Just dont insult the team and fans by saying it is because your young defensemen are playing well.And as long as you are continually rolling Gus and Nylander out there you really dont have much credibility on who is playing well anyway.

  33. How well has the motivated core been doing? I actually agree that Boqvist should be playing big minutes in Rockford. Not sure why we don’t bring McCoshen up for a few games.

  34. Now that 27 is playing with 6 maybe you can instruct him to skate north and south displaying the skating skills that we have been told about.Whatever little bit of defense he provides will be a bonus.Quick note to Coach Colliton,you are allowed to double shift 19.It will shake him free of the other teams top d man pairing and when he is doing what he did Sunday night at the dot,14 out of 17 faceoffs won,it will help with puck possession and keep the opposing coach off balance.

  35. Much of the “bad” is written off as due to cap issues. Stan created the cap issues, so the bad is because of his actions.
    Every player will demand and expect more. A good GM negotiates. Stan simply gives. It’s Merry Christmas every contract with Stan.

  36. To me, the good news is we are not hanging around 8th and fools gold.
    Everybody knows the Hawks need to tear it down and rebuild.
    There were actually some hockey writers who were outraged the 3x champs Hawks were one of the lottery winners last Spring.
    If we can secure a top 5 pick again that would be a really nice shiny piece.

    Buying at the deadline to try to sneak in would be foolhardy. Looks unlikely.

  37. Just watching the game , Hawks are getting out worked ,out shot ,out hustled and of course losing .
    I just came to the conclusion that it would not make a difference who was coaching this Hawks team …they are just a discombobulated group of non cohesive players ..
    Stans team .
    Guys with big hearts but to small and being man handled ,,,.guys who are past their prime , Rookies trying their best with line mates who don`t have the skill to support ,,Goalies who are playing their asses off every night and seeing way to many shots .

    Stans Team .

  38. I think that the “Man Behind The Throne” is still Scotty Bowman. But the book on Bowman (Red Wings) is that he is good at tinkering with a good team and making it better. But rebuilding a team is not his strength. Rocky probably knows this. So to rebuild this team, he will have to replace his No. one GO TO hockey guy who happens to be a Giant , not easy to replace . Good Luck, Rocky.

  39. No smart hockey man fires a HOF coach and replaces him with an inexperienced kid.

    No smart hockey man trades his best defensive d man for Connor Murphy.

    This mess is Stan Bowman’s creation, end of story.

    Him and Colliton need to go immediately if this season is to be saved.

    The NHL is no place for on the job training. (See: Colliton and Nylander).

    A smart hockey man knows that.

  40. He continues to hurt the team. Last draft he chose Dach with the 3rd overall pick. Most ‘experts’ had him around 7th or even lower. He ignored Bowen Byram who most had slotted in as the solid 3rd pick. A big strong gifted D man – about as highly coveted as any positional player could be. Where are we hurting most now….. Ya, our D sucks badly. Dach, most likely, will end up being a good player but, no offense, it’s a lot easier to pick up or develop a forward than a D man. Good ones are prized possessions.
    Time will tell but I think this move will be in future articles as ANOTHER Stan screw up.
    I am absolutely certain when Stan opened his useless mouth and took Dach the Avalanche were quietly and ecstaticly cheering as they thought ‘what a fool’.

  41. We all knew that the team was in salary cap hell after 2010 cup however the team also had players to trade that were valuable and should have replenished the farm system. They got no one useful for Soupy, Buff, or Ladd. SB traded down in the 2010 draft, trading 1st round pick which was used to get B Nelson for Renfeldt and Simpson both busters.

    SB pissed away lots of assets for minimal returns. In hind sight, SB trades, drafting and talent development has been well below average and ensured the dramatic drop off in results once the core aged.

  42. The first piece of HHNL’s comment is riddled with historic inaccuracies. Sorry.

    The Blackhawks were in cap hell so no GM was going to overpay for the assets the Blackhawks had at the time. Bowman handcuffed Sopel’s contract to Byfuglien to create enough cap space to keep Hjalmarsson in 2010. And Campbell was moved in a straight salary dump – the intent was to bring back nothing, and they weren’t going to get good draft picks for a cap hit north of $7M at that time.

    Futhermore, the reason the Blackhawks were able to trade down in the 2010 NHL Draft was because they added a first round pick (#24 – Kevin Hayes) in the Byfuglien deal. The cupboard was so empty when Tallon left that Bowman needed to add assets thru the draft – desperately. He got a 1st & 2nd in the Byfuglien deal from Atlanta and then moved down from the final pick in the first round to add two picks in the second round.

    I agree with the statement that Bowman has lost more trades than he’s won, and has not drafted well over the back half of the decade. I’ve writen as much in two pieces about the decade of Stan. But Bowman did well in the first few years to navigate the cap hell they were in and ultimately re-built the team into Cup winners in 2013 & 15.

  43. Tab..I think “Re-built” is a strong term for what Blowman did for 2013 & 2015. I think “tweak” is a more accurate term and even that’s a stretch (Timonen).

  44. Tab, you are correct, when I reviewed the list of trades I missed the Hayes draft pick in the Buff deal. I think seeing Morin’s name in the trade stunned me and I could not read any further.

    Certainly there were lots of cap limitation, bad contracts to move and prospects to replenish. The #30 was expendable thanks to the Hayes pick, however Renfeldt was a complete bust. Not much talent materialized after the purge. The Ladd trade was a another bust with Vishnevskiy and Clendening in return. There were lots of misses. This conversation has also caused me to question why more prospects did not work out. Have the Hawks and SB put the appropriate attention and infrastructure into player development once those prospects were acquired or was it just poor talent evaluations. Either way I have an opinion on who should be accountable….SB.

    I will be more accurate in my points next time.

  45. If the GM and Coach are still around after Christmas, you can write off this season (again for the third straight year).

    No knock on Coach C.
    He is simply is in over his head. He was put in a no win situation by Baby Bowman (A man who proves the apple does fall far from the tree).

    Coach C resume shows a cup of coffee playing with the Islanders, a couple years coaching in Europe and one year in the AHL.
    Just the guy you want to replace an HOF coach with 4 Cups, right?

    I am having flashbacks of Mike Smith and Alpo Suhonen when I see Bowman and Colliton.

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