Ten Years of Stan – Drafting a Loser

As the decade comes to a close, the Blackhawks find themselves in a rough spot. The NHL roster has aging stars and a few young players with promise, but the team is two years removed from the postseason and doesn’t appear to be headed back to the playoffs this year.

As we look back over the past decade, the draft continues to be a root cause of the recent struggles at the NHL level.

Stan Bowman was the general manager of the Blackhawks for every draft in the decade. Obviously the 2010 championship and subsequent years of playoff appearances kept the Blackhawks out of the top 10 picks in the draft. But, to Bowman’s credit, the Blackhawks drafted relatively well in the first four years of his tenure.

Between the 2010-14 NHL Drafts, the Blackhawks had 46 selections. Of those picks, 22 (48 percent) have appeared in the NHL – not a bad ratio. 17 of those 46 picks (37 percent) have appeared in at least 41 games in the NHL.

Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2015 the draft success of the team has taken a turn in the wrong direction.

Between 2015-19 the Blackhawks have had 39 draft picks. Only six (15 percent) have appeared in an NHL game. To put that in perspective, eight players selected by the Blackhawks in the 2011 draft have appeared in at least one regular season game.

Those six players are: Dennis Gilbert (2015, 3rd round pick), Alex DeBrincat (2016, 2nd), Blake Hillman (2016, 6th), Henri Jokiharju (2017, 1st), Adam Boqvist (2018, 1st) and Kirby Dach (2019, 1st). Two of the six – Hillman and Jokiharju – are no longer with the organization.

It is worth noting that players from the last three draft classes are still playing college and junior hockey. There are still high hopes for players like Ian Mitchell, Evan Barratt, Nicolas Beaudin, Alex Vlasic, Philipp Kurashev, Andrei Altybarmakyan and, to a lesser extent, Tim Soderlund, Josh Ess, Jake Wise and Antti Saarela.

But the fact remains: the Blackhawks have been in swing-and-miss mode in the draft way too much.

The other issue with the Hawks draft approach has been their inability to develop and keep their top pick. Here are their top picks of the decade:

  • Kevin Hayes – 2010, 1st round, 24th overall – signed elsewhere
  • Mark McNeil – 2011, 1st round, 18th overall – out of the league
  • Phillip Danault – 2011, 1st round, 26th overall – traded to Montreal
  • Teuvo Teravainen – 2012, 1st round, 18th overall – traded to Carolina
  • Ryan Hartman – 2013, 1st round, 30th overall – traded to Nashville
  • Nick Schmaltz – 2014, 1st round, 20th overall – traded to Arizona
  • Graham Knott – 2015, 2nd round, 54th overall – traded, zero NHL appearances
  • DeBrincat – 2016, 2nd round, 39th overall – still with Chicago
  • Jokiharju – 2017, 1st round, 29th overall – traded to Buffalo
  • Boqvist – 2018, 1st round, 8th overall – still with Chicago
  • Dach – 2019, 1st round, 3rd overall – still with Chicago

The reality is that the Blackhawks drafted well in the cases of Hayes, Danault, Teravainen, Schmaltz and Jokiharju. But the team either wasn’t able to sign the player (in the case of Hayes) or didn’t keep the player around long enough to fully appreciate and benefit from the skills of the player.

Indeed, Danault would have filled a number of needs for the team over the past three years and that trade may go down as the worst of Bowman’s tenure. At least in the case of the Teravainen trade there was a larger reason (moving the Bickell contract) behind the trade.

NHL teams are able to reach the heights the Blackhawks did earlier this decade by drafting well. Sustaining success in a league with a hard salary cap is dependent on developing subsequent generations of players to fill roles around the established superstars. Early in Bowman’s tenure the Hawks did that, drafted players like Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw after the first round. But since the 2014 draft only three players – Dylan Sikura, Gilbert and Hillman –were drafted by the Blackhawks after the second round and have even appeared in an NHL game.

This draft record isn’t an indictment of Joel Quenneville, the decision to fire him or replacing him with an unproven Jeremy Colliton. Both men the Blackhawks have called their head coach over the past decade have been asked to work with the rosters they were provided by Stan Bowman’s front office. The record over the back half of the decade is an indication that change is needed above the head coach position.

83 thoughts on “Ten Years of Stan – Drafting a Loser

  • December 13, 2019 at 10:29 am

    ….thanks for complete breakdown documentation….lol….add to this decade long draft fiasco the trade or loss of All Star calibre players like Panarin and Bufflgyen and others that I don’t remember at the moment and the firing of Quenville after winning only 3 Stanley Cups and we are at the bottom of the barrel again….yup…we need to start all over again…

  • December 13, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Stan was on the losing end of 2 different trades involving the same player…Sad. kind of sums up this turd in the punchbowl.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Agree inability to develop and get mileage of their top picks needs to improve, i said that after both Schmaltz and Joki trades. Do believe he takes unnecessary heat but deseves some too as your article shows. Also think a chamge is needed at Gm.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Been saying that for years fire bowman since he took over

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Interesting read. I have to admit that on a personal note, Stan grates on me. He seems awfully smug especially for a guy with no real hockey background. At least Pully actually played hockey.

    “There are still high hopes for players like Ian Mitchell, Evan Barratt, Nicolas Beaudin, Alex Vlasic, Philipp Kurashev, Andrei Altybarmakyan and, to a lesser extent, Tim Soderlund, Josh Ess, Jake Wise and Antti Saarela.”

    I don’t see much in this group. Mitchell is okay but undersized and nothing special. I like Kurashev (strong on his skates and nice release). Vlasic and Barratt maybe. Beaudin was likely a wasted pick. I think as fans we overrate our prospects – I know I do.

    As big an issue is not the picks but developing and then squandering them (e.g. TT, Danault, Johns, Joki) but then we all know that story.

    Shoutout to Mark Kelley and his crew for this mess as well. I am looking forward to his departure as much as I am Stan’s. The only one worth keeping is the guy who dug out Panarin, Kempny, Kahun, and Kube. I’m guessing now though that with the badly tarnished Indian Head won’t be such an attractive destination so that may dry up as well. Kube is a keeper and will likely show even more under a new coach. Hopefully he is re-upped and part of the plan going forward.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for the rundown, Tab. Extremely interesting read. There are multiple angles that have to be considered to turn the current situation around. Really savvy hockey people who are aligned with savvy financial/procedural minds are going to need to work together to put together a combined short and long game. Rocky has said he’s willing to make the hard decisions. Letting loose of Stan as well as Stan’s picked coach are looking like a couple of such decisions.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Need I even mention that the core was in place in the 2007-2008 season when the Hawks missed playoffs by 3 points and UC was rocking by the end of the season.
    This was Tallon.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

    At this point not much else to say. I’m not going to make lists, can we move on from Colliton and Bowman. Seriously why are we still on this path? At this point I actually want a reason to keep either of them.

    My number one reason is if we will make the playoffs and we are last place in the division again……

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Stain Blowman is useless, has been pretty much his entire tenure here. Gets by on his fathers name/history. Go back to accounting there Stain, take JC and McDonut with you. We need a shakeup and a rebuild. McDonut telling us it’s a just a retool was way off base. Come on McDonut go back and finish ruining the Cubs and leave the beloved Hawks alone. Ever notice he looks a lot like Pulford back in the day. I hated Pulford too!!

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Jim agree change needs to start with McDonough and down the line to coach and Gm.

    Interestingly enough the trades Bowman is being hanged on were mostly for players who recieved little if any support on here for keeping. Schmaltz was lacking courage and lost, Joki overrated and not somebody of the future. Even Hull in his alias of the day, ranted daily a couple of years ago about no defense being drafted by Bowman and wasting picks on weak players like Teuvo, not a playoff guy, or injury prone waste like Dinault. Ranted about Panarin being small and insignificant and predicted without Kane be back in Khl and forgot about.

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    The history of the Hawks when things go bad has always been with poor GMs! Bowman is a bad accountant and a worse GM. Tallon taking the hit for the payroll stain incident was PAPA Bowman stabbing Tallon in the back. The same Tallon who’s father saved Bowman’s career in hockey by giving him a job as a scout with the Montreal Canadians. That is all you need to know about these guys. The rest, as I have said many times on this site like others as well, he is a poser with no vision and an arrogance that has flushed a window of success for stars like 19, 88, 2, 7 and 50. Coach Q replaced by JC? What an arrogant and dumb move! Firing Mike Kitchen? Classless! Players don’t care about JC or Bowman! They respected and cared for Tallon!!! Hey Mark Kelley and Stan Bowman, how many players do you have a the Junior Chanpionships this Christmas? And I don’t mean from Latvia or Denmark?NONE that you drafted! JOKE

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    It’s also important to note Stan’s and the organizations inability to draft and develop defensemen. They are probably in the top 5 teams in the league over the last decade to find offensive talent, but have been woefully incompetent with defensive prospects.

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Nice read Tab but I would add the terrible contracts he handed out might be his biggest failure. At least with his trades he was looking for a push to the finals but those bad contracts have prevented this team from progressing. A new GM and coach would be a start to digging out of this mud.

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Good article.

  • December 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    And what worries me the most is McDonough was talking about extending Bowman. Good grief Charlie Brown ! ! !

  • December 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Tab, how could you forget to mention Beaudin at #27. I know its still early but the early results from Rockford are not promising and he is small in stature.

    Then there was Trading down in the 2010 draft to allow NYR to draft Brock Nelson and Hawks get Rensfeldt and Simpson. 510 NHL games verses 1 game between the 2 of them. I guess you could call it a salary cap savings.

  • December 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Good summary and perspective Tab!
    We have diagnosed the problem, doctor- however we haven’t concluded as to what the treatment needs to be?! But we do know the patient is on life support so we need to act quickly AND decisively!!

  • December 13, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    It is a results based league.You either are an organization that can properly assess talent and maintain a level of play and success or you are not.No one wants to hear the low draft positions,salary cap,NMC.etc.excuses.This entire management team has had its run and the league has passed them by.It is time to move on.

  • December 13, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    what about the wasted money
    on sekura.
    what a joke. how about his brother? why??

  • December 13, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    I hope people can agree on two or three things-
    1) circumstances impacted how things needed to be done by Bowman during/after Cups at least to a moderate extent
    2) things haven’t gone well lately and he needs to own that
    3) Sometimes it’s just best to move on

    The first five years of this decade-great/amazing
    The last five-ouch!
    10 years is enough-it’s time to go in a different direction
    Thanks Stan but bye.

  • December 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    1. DCat was drafted by Chicago as was Chad Krys when Stan traded Shaw to Montreal. Is Shaw and Danualt enough to end the argument for DCat.
    2. I would 1000x agree the Panarin trade was not good even though we have Saad and was hoping the goalie would work out.
    3. Ryan hartman was a solid pick if you look at the players drafted around him. Besides JT Compher, who else would Stan have drafted of those taken in the second round.
    4. Mark McNeil is the draft we got Shaw, Saad, Danault, Clending, Now he did not pan out, but looking at that draft Murphy is on our team and Danault was. He might have missed on this pick but looks like several teams did as well. Not a strong draft.
    5. Graham Knott Should not be on this list. He was drafted #54. Dunn and Cirelli are the only players that is remotely any good that Stan could have drafted. Man that is stretch to call knott a bust when there are so many around him that
    6. Look at CO’s last drafts they have hit HR’s in Makar #4, Jost #10, Mikko #10, MacKinnon #1, Butcher 5 Rd #123, Landeskog #2. They have elite talent because they drafted Top 10 talent. Here is the kicker, these are the only draft picks since 2010 that have made any type of impact in the NHL except maybe Pickard and that was in 16/17/.
    lastly, the Hawks only have one elite talent in Kane. What DEF on our team including DeHaan would be a top 4 in our division? What top6 besides Kane would be a top 6 on a team in our division? Exactly.

  • December 13, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    The Hawks teams that won the cups were built by Dale Tallon. Now with the Panthers, Tallon gets the last laugh – he’s got Q!

  • December 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Hawks in 2020
    DCat still has a ton to prove to me. When he finally gets on the plus side of turning the puck over exiting the zone, that will be a start. He can snipe – absolutely. But he is a huge liability in his defensive zone, and that needs fixing. He doesn’t need to be the best, but he cannot stand out every game as a huge turnover machine. Ask Robin Lehner.

    As for your comment about Dmen being top 4 in our division – I’d take it even further and ask about top 4 in the league. Murphy really is the only other defender with a chance of being top 4 in a majority of the teams. And that is a shame, when you consider who is consistently the top minute eaters on the defensive side of this team.

    And we have far more talent in our Dmen this year than last.

  • December 13, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Tab, excellent review. As EARL points out, Bowman’s contracts were a major problem. Was nearly in disbelief when he gave Seabrook that contract. Has impacted nearly all trades since.

    Two threads ago I gave examples of the Hayes and Schmaltz picks. Bowman traded 2nd round picks in moving up in the draft. Both were projected to go lower than where they were taken. Beaudin anyone?

    Before showing Stan the door they need to be sure there are good options for an upgrade.

  • December 13, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Hawks – players and mgt – ultra lo energy right now. Time for change was a while ago. What is Rocky afraid of? They there are problems w/ D …. just think of all the D men former Hawks now playing big minutes in the league ….

  • December 13, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Competitive Tomorrow Night = 19,88,8. 77,20,36. 64,12,15. 22,17,92. 5&27. 39&7. 68&6 . 50 in Goal. Trash 1 man high powerplay for the night. Play 1-3-1 Fall back to the center of the ice.

  • December 13, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I read a comment where some people think we traded away all the talent: Leddy (5.5M), TT (5.4) Panarin (11.6M), Smaltz (5.8), Raanta (4.2), Harlmarsson (5M), Frolik (4.3), Stephen Johns (2.3M out for some time), Daley (3.1), Danulat (3), Hayes (7.1), Kempny (2.5)

    These are the guys we had to let go or traded. Ok, Pick the best team under the salary cap. Are we a playoff contender?
    Silent Spot, Dcat reminds me of Sharp, a good support player. We need more Elite Young Talent like Toews, kane and Seabrook were when they were young.

  • December 13, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    The Hawks have two major holes:
    Highmore or Sikura or Nylander or someone in Rockford


    Crow/Robin or one in Rockford

    Maybe Barrett and hopefully the #1 pick in 2020 will fill the void. Otherwise, mediocre is what we will be.

  • December 13, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Dale Talon is why we won the cup, he drafted the core of players. Bowman is less skilled than Dale. By the way Florida with Dale as GM and Joel Quinville as coach Have a better win loss record then the current Blackhawks.

  • December 13, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Barrett is the kind of players we need. Tuff and plays hard. Like Bolly and Shaw and Danault.

  • December 13, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Ok let’s go head to head with Bowman and the “Great” Tallon”

    2010 was Tallon’s best draft when compared to Bowman
    Erik Gud was the 3rd pick and Nick Bjustad 19th pick where the Hawks took Hayes. Stephen Johns is like Petrovic. the two that make a huge difference are Joonnas Donski and Zach Hyamn but neither of them played for Florida. Tallon Wins barely because of the two later picks

    2011 Huberdeau #3 Grimaldi #33 and Trocech #64 vs Danault #26. Saad #43 and Shaw #139. That is a tough one but take out Huberdeau the #3 pick and Bowman has his lunch.

    2012 Mike Matheson #23 and Teuvo Teravinin #18 and Vinny #169 Bowman all day

    2013 Barkov #2, Ian McCoshen #31, Josh Brown 152 and weegar 206 vs Harman #30, Dahlstrom 51, Hayden 74, Motte 121 and Johnson 134. Again take out Barkov and Bowman has his lunch.

    2014 Ekblad #1, Hawryluk #32 and Lammikko #65 vs Schmaltz #20 and Sikura 178. Take out the #1 pick and Schmaltz alone gives Bowman the victory again.

    2015 Crouse #11, Montebeault 77 and Malgin 102 vs Dennis Gilbert at 91. If Gilbert can make a name for himself as a 5/6 DEF the hawks could have the edge because again the Hawks drafted 54th not 11th like Tallon.

    2016 Henrik Borgstrom #24, Stillman #114 and Maxin Mamin #175 vs Dcat at #39. Landslide victory for Bowman

    Florida from 2017-19 nothings but one player Owen Tippet #10 where the Blackhawks have Dach, Henri and Boqv with pro games.

    lets Tallon er Talley it up and Bowman wins every year but 1 where Tallin drafted players that did not play 1 game with the Panthers but have gone on to be good pro’s. So puckhead, I have Bowman 5-1 vs Tallon with 2015 too close to call with Gilbert.

  • December 13, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Hull, what is this story about Talons father getting a job for Scotty with the Habs, ive nevver heard it before, if true and Scotty stood around while Dale was getting canned it brings a whole new dimension of the Bowman family to light

  • December 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Carl don’t change the subject. When Bowman drafts around the same draft number as Tallon, Bowman wins everytime.

    Tallon has benefited from having the #3, #3, #23, #2, #1, #11, and #23 while Bowman has had #24, #18, #18, #30, #20, #54, and #39, Big difference in drafting players having 4 top 3 picks.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Bread man !!!!!! Oh how we miss you. Get rid of Bowman NOW

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Original what you think of going with something like these lines
    8 77 88
    12 17 19
    For top 6 and make 3rd line around Saad, maybe clear enough space to sign a Haula or Tiffoli. Plus maybe Kurashev, Barrett, or Shaw if makes it back with him. Toews , i like idea of trying him on wing, still taking fos and be a puck battler for 12 and 17.

    If Debrincat cleaned up his low percentage passes out of his own zone across the ice from boards to boards, that would eliminate most of the turnovers, start concentrating on making the high % plays. Plus when in offensive end he emulates Kane and moves with back to blueline to try and find room, but often just loses possession and defense get caught. He just doesn’t have anywhere near the evasiveness of Kane to make that play. Kane even struggles and gets burned doing sometimes too, its just not that easy a play. Would make a huge difference in his game ane boost his confidence too.

  • December 13, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    On the Fansided site there is a very interesting article on the Massive Cap Availability that the Toronto Mapleleafs potentially will have in the years to come by James Tanner.Would be interested on what everyone thinks of it.Its long but a good read.

  • December 14, 2019 at 12:15 am

    You are what your record says you are. Despite the heavy one goal marketing message, it’s time to hang a for sale sign out front. Any and all options should be on the table.

  • December 14, 2019 at 1:14 am

    It’s not quite as simple as saying you are what your record is. You need to look at a team’s entire system. Can we swap systems with NYR, NJ, or CAR?

  • December 14, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Tim there is lots of good articles on the salary cap out there. Read this one and this isn’t one, he doesn’t understand what he is trying to write about.

  • December 14, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Original-that’s the hard part with the Hawks. it’s hard to get too excited about the NHL team, the farm team or even the prospect pool. Dach yes but…..
    (D-Cat yeh but, Boqvist??)
    Looking at the breadth of an organization-being optimistic overall, it’s middle of the pack. What is there to be really excited about-short or longer term? A bit I guess.

    That’s why it’s important to hit the pause button and do this right. I am glad impulsive people aren’t running this club.

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Ian, thats funny when I read some of the things you and those guys were talking lines, from what you said about different lines I thought same 12 17 19 and now that line starts with the puck everytime, except whe refs throw our team out of faceoffs circle on a 75/25 split.

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Original, yea we are way better then our record, maybe like 10 games over .500 better. Iceman stated taht. Silent said we are more problems then coaches and system, that is right to.

    Its a fukking snowball and lost of things are sticking to it and are making us this bad, in the games we do not ‘play’ because we have played good in about 50% of the games. Except the PK, with having the proper amount of PK players, that we did not have the last two yrs.

    Theres other things that are contributing and enhancing to the snowball but some people do not want to hear those things so I wont say them but they are part of it as well. My point is theres lots of things that are the problem, half or how ever many of the players are the problem to because they are not playing as good as they are, or like Lehner says not doing this system because they do not like it, because it doesnt work good, and stuff.

    I would not ever trade 19 88, ever. They are the reason we won a dynasty and there are only 7 teams in history of hockey that have had a dynasty.

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:23 am

    If the players ‘played’ and gave 100% effort (other then 3 in 4 days, or first period of 3rd game in 4 days, or in later games of 6 games in 8 days) which no team can.
    We would be 5-10 games over .500 with these players.

    If we had a good system and an identity and coaches and new gm and crew refresher reset of style.
    We would be 5-10 games over .500 with these players.

    Thing is we do not want to be 5-10 games over .500 and be 10-15 over .500 for the season and be a 7 or 8 seed.
    We want to be 15-25 games over .500 and be a top 10 team on the verge of being a top 5 team again once the young wave gets established.

    So refresh the whole thing and make the right moves because we have good players and young players are coming.

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Noonan, yea we need to make good moves, get more top 5 draft quality players and maybe we will get a good player like Buckaroo in a trade for a Nylander kind of player from another team, if things always even out.

    When I look at a lot of the top teams right now, not the top teams that are going down, the others. Most have a top heavy 1st line and not any elite players after 1st line. It seems.

    So we got Dach De bob lee swagger cat, need one more.

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Been a Stan basher for a long while. Get him out NOW. Years are needed to get over him. Be gone!

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Hawks are probably not better than their record at all.
    10 games over .500… I don’t think so. If it wasn’t for goaltending they would be closer to 10 games under .500.
    You can’t give up 40 shots a game and expect success.
    I will be shocked if Evan Barrett plays 1 game in the NHL…Another case of having a big heart with lack of size and talent.
    Toews and Kane will probably never be traded unless they request a trade.
    Does anyone remember Daniel and Henrik Sedin in their final years?
    Well that’s Toews and Kane will look like and it won’t be pretty to watch.

    Time for a rebuild…..sorry Morrison

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Mo 19, 2 and 88 aren’t going anywhere, nor does the organization want that to happen. 7 is only one of the 4 that might want to go if it comes to point he isn’t playing but sitting in pressbox.

    If the defense gets cleaned up, a new coach who can work with the players on a way that makes sense to use defensively to all concerrned cann improve that . Get their belief and committment to it, instead of the coach trying to win a power struggle in the media to use something that is failing miserably. Until then hang for a rollercoaster ride.

  • December 14, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Stape after waiting 45 years for 1st cup, then the 3 in 6 year run they had and even if they aren’t able to win another, a few years of an aging core is pretty small price to pay. Just look around the league, the Leafs fans and organization running saying how smart they are because the players on big long term deals will still be in theur prime when contracts over. No cups to show for it and work to do to get into a playoff spot this year, not a trade off i would want thats for sure.

  • December 14, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Hey Mo
    I know I can be a bit hard on you at times about your relentless comments criticizing and complaining about the officiating. Perhaps it’s time I explained my theory on the subject and why I get so bothered.

    You frequently look at officiating as being intentional swaying of the game, or being picked on. I look at it quite differently and believe it is something you bring upon yourself. I believe that luck – to a great extent – is a product of design. Good luck is because you have good design, and bad luck because you have bad design, all generally speaking. Good design means following the standards set for the outcome you want, while bad design is the opposite.

    If you don’t want to get thrown in jail for tax evasion then pay your taxes, and fill the forms out correctly. Hey, the only way to get caught drunk driving is to be drunk while driving a vehicle. And so on. You actually control a lot of your good or bad luck. The more you temp “the gods” with behavior outside of the accepted norms, the more likely you are to get some BAD LUCK.

    In hockey, you can avoid a lot of penalties by not reaching into the opposing player’s skates with your stick. You can eliminate the need of doing that by being in proper defensive position. Keep you stick on/near the ice if you don’t want a high sticking penalty. A giant majority of penalties are called because the player was caught doing something wrong, a condition he brought upon himself or by a good decision of the opposing player. Likewise, the guys not getting called are the ones doing it less frequently, for the most part.

    Blame the official? Go ahead if you want. But having officiated over a thousand sports events in my life I can tell you that this person NEVER liked being wrong when I made a call. It hurt me. I made bad calls that changed the outcome of some events, and they haunted me for days, some longer than that. My responsibility was to be in the best position to make the best call I could, something that sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Sometimes I failed at that and paid the price by being wrong or being forced to make a call where I didn’t have the evidence to be sure I was being accurate. And I would hear about it. That was my fault. Other times I KNEW I was right, and would be less likely to tolerate the whining of the players/coach giving me noise.

    I also missed obvious calls, which is quite a different experience and very hard to live with, and actually falls outside of the personally controlled luck I am writing about. So yes, you can’t always control your own luck.

    I don’t deny that officiating sometimes leads to intentionally ignoring things that happen, but my personal experience tells me that in an event more is let go than is intentionally called wrong, and there is a distinction. Professional sports is also a business, and that definitely changes things at different points of a game in the way calls are applied. And yes, certain players – usually stars – can get different treatment because of that. When watching an event with my son while he was growing up, I would hear his screams because of a bad call on a star, but then I would point out to him the far more frequent times that star DIDN’T get called. The entire core of the Hawks got that treatment for years, and in many ways still enjoy some of that, but far less than they used to because the team is simply not good enough to be mostly on the GOOD side of the luck they are creating.

    I believe we get more calls that you don’t like because we do more things wrong than the other team, most nights. That’s why EFFORT is so important, was and still is a point of concern for the coaching staff and SOME players of this team as is apparent by the relentless post game comments about the topic. Those players that work hard don’t like that many players on this team coast on many nights.

    I share their disgust.

  • December 14, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Ian – I completely agree with your post that a few years of an aging core is a small price to pay for an incredible run of 3 cups. However, the aging core will be a drag (both financially and on-ice) to the organizations ability to compete at the highest level. So let’s celebrate that amazing core but it is highly unlikely they will be competing for another cup if they all remain together. Stape’s comment regarding the last few years of the Sedin’s hit a nerve – made me think that mediocre play and maybe one round of playoffs will be considered a big success.

  • December 14, 2019 at 9:40 am

    The hard cap in hockey is designed to do exactly what it is doing to the Hawks right now. Show me a team that has had more success than the Hawks over the past decade. As superstars get older their contracts gets higher and at some point their talent begins to diminish. This is an inevitable part of the life cycle of a hockey team. The last decade has been amazing for us and I’ll be around to watch every step of the rebuilding process. Dach is really something to watch right now. Go Hawks!!!

  • December 14, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Being able to witness one cup was a dream come true… Three cups was unimaginable. The core will never be forgotten.

    Time to move on and start the the next great core and team and quit living in the past. The core has been rewarded with long term no trade contracts making millions of dollars.
    Hawks should be doing whatever it takes to get a new younger core and adding assets now not in five years.
    If trading former aging stars is necessary to help build the next young core than it should be done.
    For anyone who wants to keep living in the past I’m sure all of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup wins can be purchased on a dvd.
    I don’t want the hawks to wait five years and then turn into the Deadwings and then say Oops I guess we gotta rebuild from the ground up with minimal assets.

    Just my opinion and I’m sure that I am not alone.

  • December 14, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I didnt say it wasnt time for rebuild. I think its time.

    I do think we would be 5-10, not 10 for sure, 5-10 over if the players played every game not 50% of the time. This system makes it that much harder to do that.

  • December 14, 2019 at 10:05 am

    What I am saying is, I do not want to only be 5-10 over good.

    I think if were not good enough to be 15-25 over, then refresh rebuild reload what ever word each person likes to use.

    Theres not point in playing if were not going anywhere. I think we need to be 15-25 over to be good to win again.

    So yea refresh rebuild reload resomething.

  • December 14, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Silent, I ll read your post later and explain why I say it to. Thanks for explaining why and I am sure I ll agree to most of it or all. Appreciate the peace.

  • December 14, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Right now I need as mcuh positive vibes as I can read. So its Kentucky basketball day and I just saw Kentucky is in on a 5 star recruit from France. The 2020 class is maybe better class since Anthony Davis class and the roster this yr is right at the top. Going to be fun for Kentucky people next 24 mths.

  • December 14, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Calipari is a good coach and coaches players preparing for the tournament from the start of season. Not for the games during the season. Get better each wk.

  • December 14, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Lets hope managment doesnt panic and start making bad trades. Sometimes the best thing to do is just stand pat and let team bottom out. The most valuable player they have to trade is Kane and if you move him there is zero room for error. The reurn for him has got to give you multiple players that are young (under 23) and at the least considered very good as well has 1st round picks.

  • December 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Stan has giving away so many players who are now solidly contributing to playoff contenders with little to show in return and brought in an amateur coach and assistants. Makes me sick. When will things change, Rock???

  • December 14, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    No reason why Dach shouldn’t be going to the World jrs. It’s a once in a lifetime experience plus get him out of the mess the hawks are in. Missing several nhl games is not going to change the hawks fortunes. This is just another bonehead move by management. Also DeHann basically out for the yr . What a mess

  • December 14, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Stape can’t argue with your passion to want to win, agree with get better and younger but disagree on core. Kane will still be elite winger when his contract is up, Toews and Keith will still have a role and easily be good enough to be one of 12 best fwds or 6 best dmen they will be icing until the end of their contracts. Seabrook is the only one i don’t see his role for 4 more years after this year. Agree sacrificing young dmen to keep in the lineup shouldn’t happen. Joki wasn’t liked by Colliton and run out for that reason so not meaning that Seabrook was the reason there.

    Dach needs to learn to adapt his game at Nhl level not against 18 year olds if he is going to show progression now, so not against decision to keep him and not release him to Wjc.

  • December 14, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Too Bad-it would have been something to look forward to-(and 3 weeks off this year would not have impacted his development)

    CHI will NOT be releasing Kirby Dach to Team CAN. He will remain with the NHL club.
    11:53 AM · Dec 14, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

  • December 14, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Ian don’t agree with your Dach arguement. One he will be playing against the best 18 yr olds in a high pressured environment. Two missing. 6 or 7 games is not going to hinder his future development. IMO that is a pretty lame excuse

  • December 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Bobby never saying it would hurt Dach to go to wjc, just saying it’s not hurting him not to go either. My feeling, he is an Nhl player now and a that’s where he belongs philosphy towards his development is not something i have a problem with.

  • December 14, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I don’t recall hearing Hughes and Kappo were released to go either but i may have missed hearing it and wrong on that.

  • December 14, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    IMO playing in high pressured important games in the medal rounds is something that I feel will be good for him as he won’t be experiencing the playoffs pressure this year. But it is ok to disagree

  • December 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Bobby going by memory but last season, Dahlin, Svechnikov, Kotkaneimi and Tkachuk all played full year in Nhl and going by memory but don’t think any went to wjc. The norm not the exception had been is it seems if they are good enough to stay on Nhl roster for the year they don’t go to wjc.

  • December 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Ian – I agree on Dach staying with the Hawks – it would be better if there were a good coach here but even with JC I think his best development path is here plus the Hawks need him

    I know he hasn’t produced lately although maybe he would if he had skilled line mates – he’s basically doing it on his own with 15 and 22

  • December 14, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Looking at the Tab’s list of Hawks top picks since 2010 under Stan that seems like a pretty good drafting record to me

    Only 2 busts (McNeill and Knott) out of 11 top choices and only the last 2 in the top 10 and Knott was a 2nd rounder

    I’d be interested to see other teams success with their top choice over the last 11 years but I bet 9 of 11 is a good to very good record assuming Dach and Boquist become full time NHLers

    Things started to go south for Stan and the Hawks with the ill fated Danault trade – even at the time it seemed like overkill after already trading a 1st for Ladd

    I was in favour of going for it again (back to back cups) with the Ladd trade but giving up Danault seemed unnecessary and the fact that Q didn’t play Weiss and Fleischmann only made it worse

  • December 14, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Until this team plays the game the fundamentally correct way within a structured system with clearly defined responsibilities as they were all taught at their lower levels the roster is irrelevant.None of us knows for sure what these guys are being told after these disastrous embarrassing games.I really can’t tell you what system they are trying to play.There is very little on ice communication.The line changes are slow with certain players remaining on the ice way too long.The forwards do not work for positioning and are constantly on the wrong side of their man.Just for a quick reference,I watched New Jersey frustrate the hell out of the vaunted Avalanche last night by playing a counter attack system with their forwards putting bodies on everyone that touched the puck.You can compete without elite talent guys.Just need 3 or 4 forwards willing to do the physical work.One on each line is optimal.

  • December 14, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Duclair has 8 goals in last 5 games with a hat trick today

  • December 14, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Dach needs to stay on hawks play against nhl level men. He needs to learn to use his size to his advantage as well learning to psychologically deal with guys he cant just push around. That being said Colliton needs to have Dachs ice time way up. Makes no sense to play him so little.

  • December 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Carl……… Anothony Duclair did his talking on the ice today, when given the chance by a new team. Tortorella`s comments last year before Duclair was traded to Ottawa was ” I don`t think he can play”. Today Duclair scored 3 goals against his old team which I`m sure felt really good. He had to hit rock bottom in the league before being given another chance and he has done the most with this chance. Good for him and good for the Ottawa Senators. For all the suggested negatives about his play away from the puck I still wish we had his speed and skill in our lineup. We need some element of this in our lineup and it`s noticebly absent.

  • December 14, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Oh God,now you have done it Carl and Jim.You dared to bring up the name of Anthony Duclair.That annoys many people on the site who believe the quarter of a season that he was given in Chicago was enough.But I thank you for residing in reality and ackowledging that someone may have pulled the trigger too qiuckly.

  • December 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    On Tab’s column above : teams that are contention use draft picks and prospects to “buy” that shiny final piece to put them over the top.

    When Mark Kelley was asked about the Hawks trading their 1st round pick in 2015 for Antoine Vermette. Kelley replied that the first round pick was his Stanley Cup ring.

    Unfortunately trading a 1st rounder for Ladd in 2016, did not yield the same results. A fail ! That hurt.

    Stan Bowman believes that most of the top tier talent resides in the top 10 of the draft. Talent that you cannot find in rounds 2 thru 7.

    It’s why he has traded for Strome, Nylander and Koekkoek. Add the drafting of Dach and Boqvist.

    Unfortunately we have not really found a diamond in the rough the draft since we last won the Cup. Maybe it’s Barratt. Maybe it’s Ian Mitchell.

  • December 14, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    This team STINKS…BLOW IT UP and start over. The front office stinks, the players stink and the organization is now a cellar-dwelling laughingstock in the NHL. Start over from scratch, new GM and coach can’t do any worse than this crowd.

  • December 14, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Line of the night so far by Pat Foley. Last 3 games hawks have given up 83 scoring chances not shots. How can you win. Enough said

  • December 14, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    You mean to tell me 1 shot on goal is not going to get the job done?If you watched the 1st period you witnessed the definition of a Chinese Fire Drill.Well,at least they moved around a little.

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Jekyll just showed up for the 2nd period.8

  • December 14, 2019 at 8:58 pm


    It takes top elite talent to win Stanley Cup. Hossa was the backbone of the Hawks and why they are losing. Danualt had very little impact even his first year in Montreal. We went for the cup and they fell short with ladd and the Montreal Trade. We could have had two more if not for Rafi’s hit on Hossa and two bad calls in the LA Kings game that allowed the tying goal in reg and winning goal in OT.

    The Hawks are not that good, not because of draft picks or free agent signings but because Hossa, Sharp, Oduya, and Nik H got old and Keith, Crow, Toews, and Seabrook went from elite and a notch below. In all his greatness, Gretzky and that incredible Edmonton Oilers team only won 4 cups. Take the three Cups and shine the light bright for our team. We need two top six forwards that can reach elite status. I am couting on Boqv and Dach too and Mitchell to take that next step to be close to Eilte.

  • December 14, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Hyde back with a vengeance in the 3rd.

  • December 15, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Bowmans choice of coach, long term contacts for aging players and trading high draft picks should have cost him job a couple years ago. Skill level and skating speed very noticeable when competing against quality teams. Time to move on from Toews, Keith, etc.

    Colliton lacks accountability and his style of coaching is very poor.

  • December 15, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    The Hawks are “Going Through the Motions” in many games and are AWOL. When Rocky gets hit in the pocketbook, he will have to make a change. He has depended on McD and the Bowmans as his brain trust, and they are not delivering. Plus they are fat, dumb, and happy living on past success, which ,no doubt was extraordinary. But, but…..What have they done for Rocky this week.
    There are problems in the locker room, and it shows on the ice. The aging stars are aging and fans will stop coming out just to see Kane.et al no matter the score. Just as we did in my day just to see Mikita, Hull et al no matter the score.

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