Thoughts On Stan Bowman’s Media Availability

Stan Bowman met the media on Wednesday morning and answered questions on a number of topics. Here are a few highlights:

The Blackhawks are not sold on the two goalies they have under contract. He said Corey Crawford needs to be individually better, and that they haven’t ruled anything out.

Patrick Kane will likely be the second line center on opening night. One reporter tossed up the “would you break up your core to get better” question, and was effectively shot down; the summer cries to trade Kane will once again be based in emotion and not reality. Bowman sounds confident that Kane can, and will, be a very good center.

Which, of course, means the Hawks need another top-six wing.

They would love to have Johnny Oduya back.

They might not want Niklas Hjalmarsson back.

When Bowman spoke about his defensive group next year, he indicated he’d like to talk to Oduya’s agent about having him back. When he spoke about the team’s top four defensemen, he referred to Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy and Oduya.

In almost 30 minutes of answering questions about core players, the defensive group, and who they’re looking at for next year, Hjalmarsson’s name didn’t come up once.

As I mentioned when he was injured, I’m not sure the Hawks need Hjalmarsson in the lineup, and I’m not sold that they’re a better team with him out there. From his comments, and the lack of Hjalmarsson being mentioned a single time, it appears Bowman may agree.

When asked about specific players in Rockford, Bowman pointed to three players that were in Chicago this season as having a good shot at a roster spot next year: Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw and, to a lesser extent, Brandon Bollig.

He spoke very highly of the play the IceHogs received from Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin as Rockford’s top guys up front in the strong second half. Kyle Beach was mentioned, noting that an injury cost him most of his season. Shawn Lalonde was not mentioned.

Staff changes are coming. Bowman did not say who, but he certainly made clear that the team’s special teams failures are being pinned on the coaching staff as much as the players.

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26 Responses to Thoughts On Stan Bowman’s Media Availability

  1. Drew says:

    Any mention of Saad?

  2. Nate says:

    Any talk about Saad?

  3. Tab Bamford says:

    Saad wasn’t specifically talked about, but he’s clearly in the mix next year.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks Tab. Crawford’s signing last year and Emery’s extension this year both scared me. Glad to see there might be some flexibility with that position.

    Any speculation on the staff changes?

  5. Kevin says:

    I’d like to see Pirri and Morin as call ups for the length that Shaw and Hayes were. I hope the latter two just make the roster full time now. I really hope we can dump Hammer off somewhere. If we can get a 5th round pick out of J Scott, then the possibility of making up some picks for what was given out for Oduya might be a reality.

    We are out of the salary cap mess now, we have quite a few core guys locked up, a ton of prospects…time to address coaching [not Q, just the assistants!] and see if next season can be the start of more stability in the line up so it isn’t a 40-60% turnover every year.

  6. Kevin says:

    I sure hope Kitchen is sent packing, the special teams have just totally sucked since he took over that role, and we desperately need a fresh start in that department if we ever want to win a playoff series going forward.

    Losing Torch was the worst hit this team took from the post-Cup gutting…..

  7. the first kevin posting :p says:

    I don’t know that Kitchen is solely responsible though. Like, Q said something about it being on the players, which makes me think he might not of communicated what he was trying to achieve well enough. I’m no Kitchen fan, but Hav was also in the mix for this.

  8. Peter says:

    I agree that losing Torch was a killer. I would really only want Ladd back over him…think how crazy it is to say that and then really think about it…

  9. 5th Feather says:

    Talk about selective intepretation….I listened the full thing and I did not come away with the black and white intepretations you did. Also, Bowman obviously is holding some cards close to the vest.

    Kane to center? Lets see what unfolds this offseason.

    In the market for a goaltender? I’m not buying it. I’m just not. There is practical reality at work here in terms of who might be available and how you go about getting acquiring that player. Plus there is a meaningful financial commitment already tied up in Crawford.

    What I did hear / interpret:

    1 That Nik Hjalmarsson will wearing a different sweater next offseason
    2 That acquisition of a physical forward is the imperative (in alignment with my fervent belief that this team needs a top 6 LW)
    3 That acquisition of a big defenseman for the blueline is job one

  10. Ej says:

    Kitch is toast. I have heard from the “distant” inside that the players don’t like him. So I guess you can chalk it up to a rumor, but this is the feedback I am getting. So maybe he is a fine coach, but if the players are not responding, a change is needed.

    I like Q as much as the next guy, but I think he has made some questionable decisions. I would like to see him back, but I also do not think he deserves a free pass and he should be scrutinized.

  11. Tab Bamford says:

    @5th: You must have missed Bowman talking about Kane playing “his best hockey” at center and his clearly stating that the organization is comfortable with him playing there. Do the Hawks need someone bigger/more physical/more defensive at that position? Certainly. But Bowman left the door wide open for Kane at 2C this fall. Which is why I noted that, if Kane’s at 2C, Bowman needs to go get another top-six wing.

  12. Andrew says:

    These were all things I absolutely agree with. Bowman’s talkin the talk now let’s see him act. It’s a shame Hjalmarsson isn’t panning out, likable guy just not what we thought he’d be. A couple nice FA signings will be nice

  13. Tuke says:

    I’m not sold on Kane @ 2C. Yes he filled in decently during this season but the point that needs to be looked at is is Kane a better C or Wing and I think everyone will agree that he is more effective and had his best seasons as a winger. He did improve greatly with the defensive aspect that a C must be able to play but still struggled greatly against the bigger Centers of the West not to mention that for most of the season he was just not good enough at the dot.

    Resigning Oduya would be great if he can be brought in for a reasonable salary and not the 3.5 he made this season. Somewhere around 1.5-2.0 at the most I could live with. I wouldn’t mind keeping Hammer as a 3rd pairing if he didn’t make so much but that isn’t gonna change so hopefully Stan can find a deal that moves him. Bolig IMO doesn’t bring very much to the table other than his nightly fight so he is free to walk also.

    Stan may not have the number of holes to fill as he has the past 2 years but the ones that need filling now are crucial to this teams success or failure. The Hawks don’t have a lot of money to spend so Stan will need to find the most value for his dollar. If he doesn’t the same scenario we witnessed this season may be repeated.

  14. Pat says:

    Carle>Oduya

  15. Jim says:

    I would like to see Mayers back. The limited minutes he plays are quality, he wins faceoffs and can kill penalties. I think he turns 38 but he was effective and should have played the final 2 games against PHO. He’s an ideal 4th line center.

    On Bowman – He has made this team soft and as long as he is at the helm, I don’t see a change. He will stick to the “Detroit way” by constantly shuffling cast-offs to mix in with his core. Look for another summer of 4 or 5 has beens to sign one-year deals.

  16. Tab Bamford says:

    @ Jim: the veteran moves Bowman has made haven’t brought much “grit” to the roster, you’re right. But if you ask anyone who has watched the kids Bowman has drafted over the last two years, “soft” is far from the word used to describe kids like Johns at Notre Dame or Shaw or McNeill or Saad. That sandpaper we all want is coming, but fans post-Cup don’t have patience to let them mature appropriately.

  17. Matt says:

    Continue to stick to the “Detroit way”? Which way is that? The way that has won 11 cups, including four in my life time?? That’s the kind of fan thinking that I hear everytime the Cubs need a new manager- that they need someone who understands the Cubbie way of doing things. And then I laugh and laugh….

  18. Jack B says:

    Detroit is not ‘soft’; wish they were. We almost need a one-week cooling off period after the Hawks are eliminated because there is so much frustration around them losing and it affects some of the rational thinking. There’s still a lot of pissed off fans (me included), but I am beginning to realize that the brass probably knew this would not be a long playoff run. They are still ‘re-building’ the bottom tier of the lineup and it does take some time to fit the right pieces. However, I still think goalies need to be re-assessed. I also think that Kane can be a good #2 center – if he’s got a good, gritty winger with him, although I’m not sure that Carcillo could fit the bill. Hjalmarsson and Montador can go away any time now; hopefully they will because that frees up about $6 mil. Olsen looks good but green, and Carle or Wideman would be awesome upgrades to becoming a physical D group. Not expecting much this summer but we’ll see. Oh, and Kitchen, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  19. Brad Stevenson says:

    Other than what Tab said about Kane, 5th Feather was bang on with regards to Bowman…he didn’t really say much about what will happen…and as for Kane as 2nd Centre, that could easily be a red herring to help in engineer a trade for such a player.

    I also agree that goaltending was another red herring…there is no way the Hawks can acquire a true #1 and get the other crucial missing pieces…CC and Emery will very likely be our tandem next year…

  20. BoogKnight2002 says:

    Am I wrong to not want them to do much in the FA market outside of goal tending (cough Corey Schneider cough) and depth on the blue line?

    Looking at the youth coming in, its EXACTLY what they are lacking this year, gritty physical 3rd and 4th liners. Hopefully Hossa comes back to full strength and you have top 4 forwards with options for the last 2 that make a very powerful and dynamic top 6. The bottom 6 need a guy like Mayers to return and you can line up witha guy like Hayes and thump.

  21. Eddy says:

    @Tuke I honestly do not know what you are talking about when it comes to Bollig. The guy played quality minutes for the time he played. He was physical and made players know he was there and fought to jump start your team or defend a skilled player who had a run taken at them. He also had quite a few scoring chances during the regular season on which he wasn’t able to convert. The guy was in his first year. This season he should see better minutes and score a few more goals. He is a pretty good skater and handles the puck and pressure pretty well, better than any other enforceresque player in the league.

    As for the top 6, we could probably use another gritty power forward type but what I am really hoping is that Bick comes out next year and plays like he did during the playoffs. Remember he was coming off a significant wrist injury and the weeks he was a healthy scratch did nothing but help him in the long run to get back to where he was. There was even an interview with him about the injury and he said mid way through the season that he didn’t quite feel all the way healthy and was playing to his wrist. Look for a good season next year from #29

  22. Logan Reilly says:

    TAB: “When he spoke about the team’s top four defensemen, he referred to Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy and Oduya.”

    Well, not quite. He was talking aboot D-men who like to have possession of the puck. Hjalmarsson wasn’t mentioned because he clearly gets rid of it as quick as he can be it to his D-partner or two lines up to a forward.

    But I do agree…the message, reading between the lines there, is that Hjalmarsson may see himself out the door. This is something that I’m fine with. He hasn’t progressed at all since his signing. We need more than what he gives. Your Dennis Wideman suggestion is a good one.

  23. Windy City ZMan says:

    Between Crawford’s struggles and Hammer’s lack of hitting, it makes me that much more convinced that the move would have been to let them take Hammer at 3 Mil a year and keep Niemi instead.

  24. Logan Reilly says:

    Zman….Yah me too but thats hindsight now.

    I truly thought Hjalmarsson would get better in 2010/11. I really, really did. Niemi’s rebound control in the finals really had me believing that he had been figured out.

    Isn’t this when Andrew Ladd was traded? That was the real wound.

  25. Tuke says:

    @Eddy Every fan sees something different. Yes Bolig did do everything that you said. I don’t really think he prevented anyone from taking liberties but he did have a few staged fights and a few less that weren’t staged. However, next season this team should have enough players with his skill set with Shaw and the return of Carcillo. I would rather see his half million plus put to something else this team can benefit from. He can always go back to the Rock and be called up when injuries strike.

  26. tor says:

    Crawford’s soft goals in the last 2 OT losses were despicable and the nail in the coffin. The guy has no lateral movement, can’t guard the post or stop soft shots between the pads, has no confidence, looks shaky at best and needs to fade away in the juniors. Not that Leddy does him any favors by never winning a battle along the boards-did any defenseman have a lower takeaway/giveaway ratio and +/- than Leddy?
    Hawks need a big body skilled blueliner and a NHL caliber goalie like Cory schneider a -r.f.a even if they have to throw in a prospect for him.

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