Stan Bowman Swings and Misses, Again
The past week hasn't been kind to the Blackhawks as they try to improve their team through free agency. On Sunday Martin Brodeur resigned with the New Jersey Devils and on Wednesday both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed with the Minnesota Wild. General Manager Stan Bowman confirmed that he was pursuing all three but lost out when it came time to sign on the dotted line.
The Hawks roster isn't desperate for a top-of-the-line player like Parise, but the recent free agent misses have been a microcosm of the problems of the last two years. Bowman has shown an inability to bring in the right talent to make the Hawks a well-rounded, Stanley Cup contender.
Since taking over the Hawks before the 2009-10 season, Bowman hasn't been able to replace the talent he traded away or allowed to leave through free agency. The Hawks have sorely missed the second-tier players who played so well along with their star core. From letting Antti Niemi go after arbitration to failing to replace Dustin Byfuglien's net presence, Bowman's moves in the last two years have backfired.
The one free agent Bowman brought in this year is Sheldon Brookbank, but a third-line defenseman doesn't exactly leave Hawks fans enthralled. There is still a glaring hole at center, goalie Corey Crawford is a question mark and their dismal powerplay has yet to be addressed. To top that off, no one can predict when Marian Hossa will come back from a serious concussion or how he will play when he does return.
There is still plenty of time left in free agency and the Hawks are $8 million under the cap, so several free agent moves are likely on the horizon. But is Stan Bowman the right person to make those signings?