Blackhawks News

Meatball Riot

By Greg Boysen

After reading an afternoon of tweets and statuses from Blackhawks fans, my head hurts.  It amazes me how fast some “fans” have turned.  What exactly was Stan Bowman supposed to do yesterday?  What blockbuster move was there to make?  Who exactly slipped through his fingers that will prevent the Hawks from winning another Stanley Cup?  All the meatballs who are enraged about Bowman doing “nothing” are mind numbing.  Bowman didn’t do “nothing” he is sticking to his plan.

It is no secret what his plan is, it is to build from within.  When Bowman had to trade away key pieces from the Cup team the Blackhawks were left with a few holes.  And let us not forget, Bowman did not “dismantle” that team.  He had to trade away key players because Dale Tallon screwed up of the contracts of Andrew Ladd, Cam Barker and Kris Versteeg.  Having to listen to people say Bowman destroyed the Cup team makes me crazy.  He did what he had to do because of the salary cap, a problem he did not cause.

Since having to trade away the likes of Ladd, Versteeg and Dustin Byfuglien, Bowman has wanted to fill those holes with talent from the system.  Why do you think most of the contract he dished out this past summer were for one year?  The Blackhawks are waiting for the likes of Jeremey Morrin, Brandon Pirri, Dylan Olsen, Andrew Shaw, Jimmy Hayes, and Ben Smith to be everyday contributor s to this team.  There are guys like Mark McNeill and Brandon Saad a litter further down the pipeline.

Bowman dug himself out of salary cap hell last year with the trade of Brian Campbell to Florida.  I loved Soup and this team really misses him, but his 7 million dollar cap hit needed to go.  Did you really want Bowman to trade for Rick Nash?  Trading for Nash and his 7.8 million dollar cap hit for the next six seasons would have put the Hawks right back into that rut.  Don’t forget, both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane need to be resigned before Nash’s contract expires.  Do you really want to let one of those guys walk because we are overpaying for Nash?  Bowman would have had to give up at least two of the prospects listed above to complete the deal too.  It just isn’t worth it.

Bowman was in on Mikail Grabovsky, but the asking price was too high.  Nashville gave up a 1st round pick for Paul Gaustead, who is nothing more than a “faceoff guy”.  I am sure he inquired on Derrick Roy as well, and the price was just too high.  Ask the Cubs, White Sox and Bears what it is like to have no talent waiting in the wings.  I have seen the Blackhawks go through talent droughts and it cripples the organization for years!  I don’t want to see that happen again.

Besides, does Grabovsky make Patrick Kane start scoring goals?  Does Gaustead make Duncan Keith play more like a Norris Trophy winner on a nightly basis?  Does Roy fix all the problems on the power play and plenalty kill?  The answers to all these questions are no!  So why trade away the future when most of the Hawks problems can be fixed by the players that are already here?  If the guys being paid to play like stars, in fact play like stars, this team will be ok.  If they continue to phone it in and underachieve then it will be another early exit.

And one last rant, I don’t want to hear any more about John Scott.  I seem to recall the Blackhawks winning a Stanley Cup without the great locker room presence of John Scott.  Please stop with the crap that he protects our superstars.  If he was such a great protector he would be on the ice every game.  Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarrson would not be missing games with concussions.  The Blackhawks would not be getting outhit nearly every single night.  Scott was the odd man out, and the fact the Bowman got a 5th round pick for him shows that he is a pretty good GM.

I know it is not ideal to be talking about “plans” and the “future” just a year and a half after hoisting the Stanley Cup.  The ugly business side of hockey showed up and Bowman had to play the cards he was dealt.  I know it tough to preach patience, but let Stan work out his plan.  A plan he had to put into action because of events that occurred before he showed up.