Stan Bowman now has a juggling act with the Chicago Blackhawks
By Jimmy Lynch
Stan Bowman now has a juggling act on his hand with the Chicago Blackhawks. For better or worse, the Blackhawks will have to get used to satisfying an older core while also focusing on the future.
The Chicago Blackhawks are not going to be competing for the Stanley Cup for a few years. While that is what we all expected as fans, it is still something we all are going to have to grapple with as the season draws nearer.
Stan Bowman has had one goal every year throughout most of his tenure with the Blackhawks, win a Stanley Cup. While that is still the overall goal, it is now to win a Stanley Cup a few years down the line. Whatever long-term goal the Blackhawks have, it will only be possible if they keep the current core happy.
The Los Angeles Kings are currently going through a rebuild, and they are actually a year or two ahead of the Blackhawks. Watching their star players that are only seven years removed from winning it all, struggle even to win 30 games takes a toll on the fans and core group of players. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for them, and they have shown that you can rebuild a roster with your star players still around.
Stan Bowman will have to do his best at juggling the goals for the future and the expectations for the current core group. While it might be best for Bowman to trade away the entire roster and rebuild it through the draft piece by piece, that is not possible thanks to the no-movement clauses the Blackhawks big four have.
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Keeping Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith engaged and on board with the team will be critical for the future of the franchise. Those four players can dictate how the lockerroom handles different changes, and the Blackhawks’ management needs the franchise’s stars on board.
While it has been reported that Toews and company will stay with the team during a rebuild, that was not what it sounded like a week ago when we heard from Toews. I do not really believe we would have heard from the Blackhawks a few days ago if it was not for Toews coming out and airing his frustrations.
Moving forward, I believe Stan Bowman is going to have to tread carefully when it comes to the moves he makes. Getting the core four players frustrated and angry could be the last straw with this current group in Chicago. That would end with them lifting their no-movement clauses and it would not sit well with the fans. But to be fair Bowman has already traded away Saad, left Crawford without a contract, and fired Joel Quenneville. I do not know what else he can do to get this group annoyed.