Sean McIndoe of Sportsnet recently published a list of 12 NHL general managers who are feeling the pressure with less than three weeks before the league’s trade deadline.
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is ninth on list, but not for the reasons you may think. McIndoe says that Bowman needs to resist the urge to trade away prospects and draft picks to try to make an improbable run into the postseason. He writes that trading any future assets for help right now would be the wrong move and that statement is very easy to agree with.
Bowman made an appearance on NBC Sports Chicago’s pregame show prior last night’s 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars and it sounds like he shares this line of thinking. While many Blackhawks fans are overreacting to the team’s play this year, the man in charge is not.
"I don't expect us to be a buyer this year. It has nothing to do with where we are in the standings. It's just that each season is a little bit different. Your team is different,” said Bowman, per Scott Powers of The Athletic. "I think the strength of our team is we're trying to build some young players we're going to have. We have a lot of new players this year relative to last year. I think it's hard when you bring in 11, 12 new players every year."
We have seen some encouraging play from young players like Alex DeBrincat, Vinnie Hinostroza and Nick Schmaltz that give you some optimism for next season if they continue to progress. Bowman sounds he already knows who he will stick with going forward.
"I think next year's team is going to look very similar to this year's team, not identical. We're going to have some changes,” he said.
With the pricy veterans locked into contracts with no movement clauses, it is doubtful that we will see any huge moves over the offseason, but we have seen Bowman pull off unexpected deals in the past.