Stan Bowman has become a pretty popular guy amongst Blackhawks fans. Since becoming a part of the Chicago organization, Bowman has raised the Hawks out of the dark void of irrelevancy and helped bring two Stanley cups back to Chicago. He has made moves that everyone doubted, and the majority of them turned out so well that people stopped questioning his every move. That’s not to say that mistakes weren’t made, but in general Bowman has only helped the team. Stan Bowman’s rise to fame wasn’t all Stanley cup parades and sunshine. There were a number of factors that came into play as he rose to the position of GM.
2000-2009 – The Light In The Void
Stan came into the Blackhawks organization in 2001 as “special assistant GM” under Bob Pulford. The Hawks in 2000-01 were tied for last place with the Blue Jackets with 71 points and would miss the playoffs by a long shot. They were struggling to find any stability, but they made the playoffs the next year only to get ousted by St. Louis in five games. Dale Tallon took over the GM spot in 2005 and went to work drafting and picking up RFAs that would be the building blocks for not only the team’s success but Bowman’s success as well. Tallon and Bowman’s work would slowly pay off as the team steadily went from basement dwellers to legitimate threats in the conference. The Hawks would end the 2008-09 season with 104 points, more than doubling their points earned when Stan first joined the team. While Tallon should get a lot of credit for drafting, some of the contracts he signed would end up helping to bring Bowman to the forefront of the Hawks brass. After a botched mailing of the qualifying offers for several players, Tallon was fired, and Bowman was promoted to GM of the Blackhawks. Some people say the blame was wrongly assigned to Tallon and that those qualifying offers were Bowman’s responsibility, but no one directly blamed Tallon from the Hawks. It was instead referred to as an “organizational mistake”, but they did admit that it was part of the firing decision. Stan would help make all of that drama disappear into the fog of the past over the next few years with a couple of Stanley Cups.