Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Why Stan Bowman Is On the Hot Seat

By Jimmy Lynch
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks senior vice president and general manager, speaks to the media in between periods of the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on January 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks senior vice president and general manager, speaks to the media in between periods of the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on January 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman is the fourth longest-tenured GM in the NHL and this season could be his last if things don’t pan out.

Chicago Blackhawks’ GM, Stan Bowman, has lived and breathed hockey since he came into this world. He was born into a well-renowned hockey family, the Bowmans. Although he never played in the NHL, he knows a lot about the league and hockey in general.

Stan Bowman’s father, the great Scotty Bowman, is the winningest coach in NHL history. His impact on the game continues to this day with coaches pulling tricks from his book to help their team.

The Blackhawks hired Stan Bowman for his knowledge of the game, which he inherited from his father, oh and because it would also bring his father Scotty to the team as well.

Bowman has grown up with hockey, so much so that he once thought his name was “Stanley Cup”. Below is a video of that funny story.

When Stan Bowman inherited the job of general manager from Dale Tallon, there was already a new head coach in place. Joel Quenneville was hired by Dale Tallon before being fired.

Having a skilled and experienced coach like Quenneville only made the Blackhawks better. However, Bowman did not hire him.

After a decade of dominance, the Blackhawks really fell off a cliff over the last few years, as they failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons.

Bowman, pointing fingers at other people to fault the poor seasons, blamed the injury of Corey Crawford in 2018 and the midseason firing of Joel Quenneville as the reason in 2019.

Bowman has had his fair share of good moves during the last few years. However, he has created his own demons by trading away top prospects and handing out bad contracts.

The Chicago Blackhawks failed to make the playoffs for many reasons during the last few years: bad defense, bad contracts, poor special teams, injuries, and coaching. Although the Blackhawks look better on paper this year, it should not cool off Bowman’s hot seat. Here is why.

Poor Defense

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After a horrendous season in 2017-2018, where the Blackhawks failed to make the playoffs, Bowman hardly adjusted the defense.

Last offseason, he signed Brandon Manning to a two-year contract and expected that to fix things. For the 2018-19 season, Bowman expected different results with the same group which is the definition of insanity.

The scary thing about the Blackhawks’ defense is that it is an issue with no quick fix. The Blackhawks currently have 5 defensemen under contract for another 2 seasons.

This does not leave space to add new blood on the blue line and or change things up with only one other roster spot available. That probably played a role with Adam Boqvist being sent down to the Rockford earlier this week.

He Did What?

Stan Bowman made a few moves this offseason that fans would consider a gamble. After he struck gold by trading Nick Schmaltz to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini, Bowman believes he can do anything.

The confidence after having a good season of trades might have gone to his head, especially when he traded defensive prospect Henri Jokiharju for Alexander Nylander.

The other shocking decision Stan Bowman made was drafting Kirby Dach third overall when he passed on other generational talents like defenseman Bowen Byram and forward Alex Turcotte.

Stan Bowman’s Coaching Folly

The last move that ruined the Blackhawks last season was when Bowman fired Joel Quenneville and brought in Jeremy Colliton to take his place. Now, towards the second half of the regular season, Colliton and company did some great things.

However, that does not take away from the fact that the season was blown thanks to a mid-season coaching change.

The Blackhawks had a pretty good idea that they were going to let Quenneville go, they just needed the opportunity. That opportunity came for Bowman when they had a slow start in 2018-19.

If Bowman had fired Quenneville last offseason, some of the regular season issues the Blackhawks had while they were learning Colliton’s system might not have occurred.

The Blackhawks are going to need to start strong this year otherwise things might not end well for the team.

If Chicago starts slow, the Blackhawks might finally have a new person to blame, Stan Bowman.

Conclusion

I’m not saying Stan Bowman is to blame for all the issues the Blackhawks have had the last two seasons.

However, keep all of the things Bowman has done in the past in mind when the Chicago Blackhawks take the ice this season.

Related Story. Tracking Stan Bowman’s 1st Round Picks. light

Joel Quenneville was fired after just 15 games last year, so maybe we will see something similar again.

Stan Bowman might want to cross his fingers that the Blackhawks get off on the right foot this season.

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