Stan Bowman Faces A Defensive Dilemma

By Keith Schultz

Jun 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is interviewed during media day in preparation for game one of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks to use a poker term are all-in this season in trying to win their 3rd Stanley Cup in the Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane era.  They have all their chips on the table a year before the Toews/Kane extensions go into full effect and the Blackhawks will have to begin to ship talent out like the last salary cap purge of 2010.

The problem the Blackhawks are facing half way through this season of playing for keeps is that their defense hasn’t been what the Hawks and Stan Bowman had expected.

The problem really dates back to the summer of 2013 when the Bowman extended Michal Rozsival for not one but 2 seasons and his play although steady during the run to the 2013 Stanley Cup, he has never been able to match since he left the ice in Boston.  Rozsival has been an anchor especially this season on the third pairing no matter who’s been playing with him from the Rockford Rookies to David Rundblad.

The other problem is that the Blackhawks gambled on Johnny Oduya being able to play his game defensively at a high level when they traded Nick Leddy to the Islanders before the season started, and although he started the season pretty strong his play has been decline and it looks worse game by game. Oduya and Nicklas Hjalmarsson were the lock down defensive duo all last year and the start of the season but now Oduya isn’t carrying his end of the bargain.

Both Oduya and Rozsival have put Bowman in a predicament with the trading deadline inching closer. Will Bowman make one of his patented under the radar trades that no one sees coming and make the Blackhawks defense better?

The one thing that the Blackhawks could be doing is waiting for Trevor van Riemsdyk from coming back from injury which seems like a risky move to make for a couple of reasons.  TVR although a bit unlucky seems to be a bit injury prone and he’s only got 15 NHL games under his belt which doesn’t solicite tons of confidence heading to the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Not saying his play wasn’t good enough it was just a small sample size.

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So what does Bowman do with this dilemma? Stand Pat? Make a deadline trade or hope that TVR does the trick?

Either Way Bowman needs to make a decision and most likely a move sooner or later!

What do you think Bowman should do about the Blackhawks defense?

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