Stan Bowman set out last off-season with the goal of improving the Blackhawks team by bringing in a lot of new players. While he did add a lot of assets for this past season, he hurt them for years to come.
The Blackhawks are up against the salary cap, and it is not going to get any easier if Corey Crawford signs for 3.5 million. How did this happen? We had so much salary cap space last off-season to work with, and yet here we are now with unsigned RFAs and an unsigned goalie who might not be able to reach an agreement. There is only one person to blame.
Stan Bowman has done some good for the Chicago Blackhawks. He has brought in great players in the past to make the ‘Hawks a championship team, but his moves last season hurt the team.
Last off-season Stan Bowman brought in players like Olli Maatta, Calvin de Haan, Andrew Shaw, and Zack Smith. Those were his high priced contracts that Bowman brought into the organization. These moves come together to make up about 16 million of the Chicago Blackhawks salary cap space.
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Now, I know the trade for de Haan was a steal as he has been a great blueliner, but Bowman had to know that a year later, he was going to have some issues with the salary cap. Even if the pause did not happen and the salary cap rose, it was not going to raise to a limit that would make the Blackhawks comfortable right now.
If the Blackhawks went out last season and traded for players on expiring contracts, I would have been alright with the moves right now. However, Bowman created his salary cap mess for this off-season, something that could have been avoided.
These deals are going to haunt the Blackhawks for years to come because it did not just create a salary cap mess. The Blackhawks also traded away two young players that could have been something in the ‘Hawks organization in Henri Jokiharu and Dominik Kahun. Kahun put up 31 points this past season in 56 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The ‘Hawks 2019 off-season definitely should raise some question marks, and it should be apart of the conversation when it comes to Stan Bowman being let go from his post as general manager.
The team might not have been as good of if they did not make the deals they did last summer, but they also weren’t that much better with these guys. The ‘Hawks did only finish with a record of 32-30-8, putting them in dead last in the central division. We did have our fun at the qualifiers, but that was not something our regular season earned.
Bowman is going to have to do some work during the coming months to right the wrongs he made. He might even have to trade his first-round draft pick to help clear some salary-cap space. If only we could press the reset button on the deals we made a year ago; then we might be able to keep all our RFAs around.