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Is Stan Bowman the Jerry Krause of the Chicago Blackhawks?

Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Like many Chicago sports fans I have been spending my Sunday nights watching The Last Dance, and the documentary has brought up an interesting question when it comes to Jerry Krause and Stan Bowman.

Jerry Krause is the perceived villain in The Last Dance documentary following Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls when they won their championships. While Krause was the GM for six championships with the Bulls, he is also known for breaking up a great group of champions and running the head coach out of the city, something that seems rather similar to the Blackhawks.

Stan Bowman does deserve some credit for the Blackhawks’ success. He really helped retool the 2010 Blackhawks to form the Championship teams in 2013 and 2015. He does deserve some credit for helping to rally the troops in that sense. However, what followed really helps highlight the Krause Bowman comparison.

Stan Bowman followed the 2015 championship by trading away stars Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp, both of those were due to the salary cap so that can be expected. However, two summers later he traded away Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin, right after Panarin signed a bridge contract to stay in Chicago for another two seasons. If fans wonder why Panarin did not consider coming back to Chicago during the summer of 2019 I think you need not look further than the Blackhawks front office.

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Bowman really helped drive the narrative that the Blackhawks are going to win no matter who they have on the team, and he tried to sell fans on a Panarin for Saad trade, something that fans still dislike today. However, he did not stop his bad moves in the summer of 2017. In November of 2018, the Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville, letting go of the second-most winningest coach in NHL history.

It was never a secret that Bowman and Quenneville did not get along all of the time, and because of that if there is ever going to be a comparison to Krause and Bowman it would show up in the way they let go of their top coach.

Krause wanted to let go of Jackson following the 1997 season, but ownership said no and the last dance happened the next year. Maybe Bowman wanted to let go of Quenneville after failing to make the playoffs in 2018, but management said no. So he had to wait for a misstep the following season.

One key difference between Krause and Bowman, however, is the way Bowman treats his players. While Krause made sure to let his players know they are expendable, Bowman has no issue tossing out long contracts and bringing back former players every chance he gets.

So what do you think? Do you see a comparison between Bowman and Krause? Or do you think it is too soon to tell with the Bowman era not yet over in Chicago?

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