How I Painted Myself into a Corner by Stan Bowman

The following ran in Wednesday’s edition of “The Committed Indian”:

Hey everybody!  It’s me, Stan Bowman.  You know me, I’m the General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, that cool new team your popular friends told you about a couple years ago.  Most of you would probably confuse me with that squirrelly guy from your office who’s always hanging out in the bathroom. 

Anyways, I’m here to teach you some of the cool new tricks I’ve learned about running a professional hockey team.  Sure, everyone in the media seems to think my job consists of simply making trades and signing free agents, but I’ve recently found ways to make things more unreasonably difficult for myself!  That way, when I do make trades, I look so much smarter.

Are you ready to learn all about it?  Ok, here we go!

The NHL only allows me to keep 50 players under contract per year.  So, the first thing I like to do is try and sign every prospect I own.  This summer I signed Brandon Pirri and Marcus Kruger even though one wasn’t ready to play professional hockey and the other was going to play in Europe regardless. 

Another little trick I like to use is signing every minimum wage contract player I find, even if my team has no use for them.  Nick Boynton for $500,000?  Where do I sign?  John Scott for $512,000?  Let’s give him another year on that contract.  Jeff Taffe?  Yes, please.  Garnett Exelby?  I have no use for him and neither does Rockford; sign him up.  Nevermind that I could have used the combined $1 million of Boynton and Scott to keep Marty Reasoner.  I’d much rather have Fernando Pisani.  How good was he in the playoffs that one time?!!?  All those guys add up and before I know it, I’m at 50 players! 

With those 50 players under contract, it makes any trade way more difficult and waiver claims impossible.  Sure, I could have re-acquired Ben Eager for a draft pick.  He would have looked nice on our fourth line.  Maybe Jamie Langenbrunner would have waived his no-trade to come play for us and all I would’ve had to give up was a 3rd round pick.  He could have played on any of our four lines.  I liked Mike Commodore and Craig Rivet and all they would have done is cost my boss, Rocky, some more money.  But where’s the fun in that?  I like to make trades where I have to give up a player.

Then, once the regular season begins, I like to spend my whole season wiggling around the cap so I can make that big mid-season acquisition.  This whole salary cap thing can be very confusing.  The good thing is all I have to do is tell the beat writers that it’s confusing and I don’t have to explain anymore.  See, I learned this cute little trick where I conserve small amounts of cap space each year by shuttling our fringe NHL players back and forth between Rockford and Chicago.  It only ends up saving us a few thousand dollars per day but everyone thinks I’m a genius for it!  Trust me, it works. 

So maybe we ended up losing games early in the year where we basically dressed 10 forwards.  Does anyone even remember how we pissed away games against New Jersey and Edmonton because we had a fourth line of Jordan Hendry and John Scott?  Most certainly not. 

Besides, look at my shiny new toys!  That Michael Frolik can really stickhandle and just wait until you see Chris Campoli.  Dad says he’s really good. 

I guess I could just give my team every available resource to win as many games as possible.  It’s also true that by doing this I end up putting more pressure on myself to make a significant trade in the middle of the season.  But this is my book and it’s not titled “How A Veteran General Manager Makes the Best Out of a Tough Situation.” 

As the trade deadline approaches, I like to tell everyone what I’m looking for.  This is a really important one.  The closer the deadline date approaches, I will give as many interviews as the media asks of me.  Whenever they ask what I’m looking for, I always tell them the truth. 

For example, this year I made sure everybody from Alberta to Libya knew I was looking for a defenseman.  In fact, I basically said if we didn’t get one, we would be screwed.  All this will only make trying to make a trade so much harder!  Plus, most of my general managing counterparts will try to rake me over the coals.  That Steve Tambellini demanded I give him Nick Leddy for Ladislav Smid.  Oh, Steve.  He’s so silly.  Doesn’t he know I’d sooner part with my Micro Machine collection than give up on Leddy?

So as the deadline approaches, I really work myself into a frenzy trying to swing any kind of trade.  If I don’t, some people are really going to be mad at me!  I learned this lesson the hard way last year.  I didn’t say what I wanted and no one knew.  So when I swung a deal for Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy for the corpse of Cam Barker, all people said was that I made a really good trade.  No talk of what a genius I am.  No one talked about how hard I worked to swing that deal. 

This year, look at how much credit I got for making the Campoli trade!  Jesse Rogers told me I made a good deal for a player I needed.  Sure, Bryan Murray made me give up a 2nd round pick for a guy who’s probably only worth a 4th rounder, but I ask again, where’s the fun in that?       

There are a couple other subtle things I like to do.   

Whenever I acquire a player, he either has to be a puck-moving defenseman or versatile.  If he’s both, even better!  My dream is to have a defensive corps of guys all 6’0” or shorter and who skate like the wind.  I’d like to see Detroit and that bastard Ken Holland try to top that! 

If the player I acquire is a forward, I just like to automatically assume he’s played center at some point in his career.  Michael Frolik hadn’t played center since he was running around the streets of Prague.  So what?  He’s still played it before.  That makes him versatile.  Just saying versatile makes me sound so much smarter. 

And don’t forget, if anyone ever questions why I do certain things, if I can’t it blame on the mysterious salary cap, I just blame it on Dale Tallon.

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27 Responses to How I Painted Myself into a Corner by Stan Bowman

  1. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Wow! I have to admit some of Stans moves’s have been questionable so far, but this was a little over the top. Stan has done a good but not great job. As long as the Hawks are in the top 8 in the west at the end, that’s ultimately all that matters

  2. Marts says:

    Yeah this was pretty funny. Agree with a lot of it but some was a little harsh as SouthSideeHawkMan indicated. I really don’t know why Stanley bothered with Scott, Pisani & Exelby. Even though i was a huge Boynton hater I can understand the logic in retaining him for the 5-600k range. Pisani came around and was playing decent hockey before the injury but I would’ve still rather had Reasoner. I mean, how could anybody NOT look at him as a Madden replacement? And at 1 or 1.1 per? Strange…

  3. Patrick says:

    John – good piece, but this was probably all a byproduct of the off season capocalypse over-reaction (no I’m not blaming Dale and I wouldn’t give up any of it because the Hawks got the Cup – it was worth it!).

    Stan got “played” in a few spots (moving Reasoner, Hjammer’s offer sheet, Niemi’s arbitration) but I think that Stan was just trying to throw a bunch of shit against the wall to see what stuck and he got lucky in a few spots (Crawford being as good as he is, Pisani when he plays, recently Johnson, and to a lesser extent Turco being a solid vet for Crawford and in the locker room), but not overall – especially with the Hawks best players playing like shit. Yea, he was a little loose with public info at the trade deadline, but the band-wagon fans needed info to stay engaged while the Hawks weren’t winning, and he was unfortunately feeding info to them that telegraphed his moves (you get that, I get that, but the 300 level fan yelling ‘shoot’ doesn’t get that and they buy a lot of tickets). I’m not so sure he makes the Campoli move to the extent that he did if Hendry doesn’t get hurt, and even though the price was a bit steep, I think I like it – this is a crappy draft year anyway.

    The good news is that a lot of the ‘so called’ vets fall off of the 50 man roster this summer, and the Hawks have some cap flexibility to resign their guys (Crawford, Brouwer and Frolik should be resigned) and add some better ones, so he can reload and make moves in a smarter fashion (bye bye Hjammer).

    I still like this team and they can make a lot of noise in the playoffs, provided they don’t crash. Can’t count them out – winning cures a lot of ills.

  4. SDHawksFan says:

    A bit harsh, I think that the large quantities of vets signed in Rockford had alot to do with the fact that Bowman knew he was going to be extremely young in Rockford and wanted mentors/protection for his young players. Agree that he sign Pirri too early however he seems to be developing despite his early introduction to Rockford. Scott and Pisani were obviously mistakes however at least they were low cost ones.

    In terms of the deadline, everyone in the league knew what the Hawks holes were so nothing he stated publically should have been a surprise. Other then Toews, they didn’t have anyone who could win a faceoff. Johnson’s return to the lineup has had more to do with the current winning streak then anything else. His addition and the shifting of Bolland from 3rd to 2nd line has raised the FO percentage of the entire team now that Bolland isn’t facing the other teams #1 Center.

  5. John says:

    Scott, Pisani and Boynton may have been low cost mistakes, but when we add up their contracts, $1.512 million can get you one, maybe two, stronger player(s). Thus helping to paint Stan into a corner he’s tried all season to get out of.

  6. Kevin says:

    I think some of this is a bit hindsight being 20/20. Boynton was ok/not bad in the post season last year, bringing him back at minimum wage wasn’t a terrible idea at the time. The Reasoner deal and those signings were done at a time when they probably thought (or were hopeful, if they had already given up then sure, bad decisions) they could work out a deal with Niemi.

    The sending the players up and down somewhat annoyed me, but it may actually be the difference between carrying a small bonus cushion hit into next season and not with the Hawks basically at the cap now.

    I don’t put much stock in the theory that Stan telling the media what we need is giving an advantage to other teams. I’m pretty sure without saying anything in the off-season everyone knew the Hawks were in cap hell. Same kind of situation to me. Everyone knew the Hawks needs were a 2nd/3rd line centerman and a 5th/6th pk d-man. I don’t think Stan enlightened anyone when he said it. Did he give up too much, probably. It was a sellers market with only a few teams really out of it, the Hawks have 3 2nd rounders next year and the draft is supposedly weaker than usual. Not optimal but it filled the need. And are you suggesting he should’ve traded Leddy for Smid or that if he had kept his mouth shut the asking price for Smid would’ve been lower? I don’t really think either of those cases are true.

    I think the fans like to think the Frolik trade was to fill the 2nd line centerman roll more than the organization does. Skille wasn’t in a good role here, he could get a good return for him even if not the biggest need (I don’t think skille is bringing a 2nd line centerman in return) and add some goalie depth, what more do you want?

    You’re right about the 50 man roster though. That was a big mistake.

  7. John says:

    Boynton played in 3 post-season games last year. So I’m not sure how those three games were a good enough sample size to decide that he was worth bringing back regardless of his price tag. Besides, in those three games, he was a heart attack waiting to happen every time he was out there.

    This is a downside to winning a championship. No one remembers how awful or mismatched certain players were. They simply remember the championship and assume since he was on that team, he couldn’t have been that bad.

    When Frolik was acquired, Bowman said he was brought here to play all three positions. It’s safe to assume he expected him to give it a go at center. Then Frolik got here and said he hadn’t played center in years. Lo and behold, he’s yet to play center. We didn’t criticize the trade whatsoever; we simply made the observation that Bowman seems to only acquire players who are versatile or puck-movers even if they’re really not.

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain how his media tour helped their situation.

    As for hindsight being 20/20, this isn’t really about looking back and critiquing certain moves. It’s an explanation for why the Hawks made the moves they just did at the deadline. When we look back at everything, I think it’s very fair to question why certain things were done.

  8. Patrick says:

    John and Kevin – I’m on board with both of you (even though you’re on opposite sides of the boat right now), but based on the Stanley Cup Finals, at the time, I was psyched about Boynton coming back. Yes, that was too small of a sample size, and Boynton tried to play above his ‘role’ this year (yes, Q enabled him), so he flamed out. At least it was a 1-yr $500K mistake rather than a multi-year $2MM mistake. Same goes for Pisani – he had some defensive upside (what we thought the Hawks needed when they lost Ladd), but the predicted injury bug caught up with him, and again, just $500K at 1-yr mistake (although, when healthy, I think he’s a decent vet, but health is the problem). Scott – oh well, buyout or sucker deal, we know he won’t be back.

    With that, yes, having $1.512 for a better player would be nice, but as I remember it, Reasoner moved before ‘la-affaire de Niemi’ and after the ‘Hjammer Conundrum’, so I think Stan was trying to save nickels to get Niemi back. Did anybody think that Reasoner would have that good of a year this year (in FLA of all places)? I don’t think so. Oh well, it created an opportunity for Crawford and that’s been some damn good luck. With that, who would you rather have now, Crawford or Niemi?

    Finally, I think the Frolik deal is going to be a long term steal for the Hawks, providing them some solid depth for 2012 and a few years beyond. What do you think it would take to sign him? I’m thinking 2-3 yrs at $1.5 to $1.7MM per (and same for Campoli)…

  9. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Is Craw getting the nod tonight? I sure hope so

  10. John says:

    The Hawks didn’t have to be cap compliant until the first day of training camp. So the idea that they needed to clear that space because of the Hjalmarsson/Niemi decision is a bit misguided. It was a panic move, plain and simple.

    I realize we’re turning Marty Reasoner into Mark Messier with all this, but that’s not really the point. What we’re trying to get across is that the bottom of this team just wasn’t constructed very well or with any kind of big picture plan. Then when the opportunity arose to upgrade their team with mid-season acquisitions, they were hamstrung by their plethora of poor decisions. It was more like throwing shit against the wall like you said earlier…

  11. CT says:

    I just want to make one point, because I’ve seen his name a couple of places now as somebody the Hawks could’ve snapped up off waivers: Mike Commodore sucks.

  12. SDHawksFan says:

    One of the biggest disappointments from this year has been Vishnevskiy. This is a player who should have been ready to step forward into an NHL role but seems to have taken a step back. If he were ready, I’ve got to believe the Campoli deal would not have been necessary. Interesting to see if the Hawks let him go or qualify him next year given the other prospects coming throught the system.

  13. Marts says:

    Based on what I’m reading it’s hard to argue with anybody’s points above (I’m on the Commodore sucks side of the line too). What this tells me is that, while I agree more strongly with some points than others, they are all valid and it proves what a tough situation this team was in. Could Stan have nailed everything (or 90%) such that we’d be sitting at 84 points right now? Probably.

    I really like John’s last comment:

    “The Hawks didn’t have to be cap compliant until the first day of training camp. So the idea that they needed to clear that space because of the Hjalmarsson/Niemi decision is a bit misguided. It was a panic move, plain and simple. ”

    With Reasoner in tow, and looking at his career body of work, there was strong evidence to suggest he could have filled a big void for this club from day #1. If I had to pick a single decision that had the largest reciprocal impact – his dismisal would be tops.

  14. Patrick says:

    Marts, John (and All) – yes, but over the summer, everyone thought/hoped that Sharp would be #2 center, Bolland the #3 and Dowell would be the #4, making Reasoner an expensive redundancy, especially with cap constraints (I suppose both Reasoner and Dowell could have manned the 4th line with one of them playing wing). That didn’t play out, so now the deal looks silly – but just wait, put in tandem, the Frolik deal will make the Hawks the winner when dealing with FLA. He will thrive in his “spare parts” role, just like Versteeg, but smarter. Could Stan have gotten more for Marty? Probably, but that trade wasn’t a bone-headed move, at that time, or now. Taffe wasn’t a brilliant pickup, but he wasn’t a bag of pucks either and he wasn’t taking up space on the NHL roster or cap.

    I suppose the Hawks could have held onto Reasoner going into camp, but he wasn’t a part of the plans until roughly 10 games ago when Bolland became the current #2 (although an argument could be made that he would have given them more flexibility early on, but that’s assuming that people saw that Sharp would flame out like he did as the #2 center – but then again, having him as the #1 LW is a pretty good consolation).

  15. John says:

    Considering they signed Ryan Johnson in November, there was always a need for a 3rd/4th center.

  16. Patrick says:

    Yes, but based on the way they finshed up 2010, they didn’t see that until they came out of the gate slower than anyone liked (so many friggin’ points left on the floor).

    The summer of 2011 will (should) see Hjammer get traded for a legit #2 center, moving Bolland down to #3 where he can be very damaging on a very deep team (and I’d move Hossa down with him for some insane scoring balance – I think they play well together, like Bolland and Havlat did). My dreams are of Weiss or Pavelski – hope they come true. I’m already playing Cap Geek GM…

  17. Marts says:

    @ Patrick – Yes I agree that most of us hoped our centre situation would look like Toews-Sharp-Bolland but I’m not sure I’d agree with Dowell as the #4 there. For me, I was resigned to the fact that he would be their #4 to start the season. Probably just a different perception between you and I. Knowing that Madden would move on (or assuming he wouldn’t stay for 1 mil), I liked the Reasoner addition for his face-offs alone and his ability to cover for potential injuries and move up to #3 as a one year type of stop-gap. Until recently we’ve been pretty shit on the draw, and that would not have been the case if reasoner was there all season. Lets not forget and solid 4th line centre can log extra shifts throughout the game garnering himself additional minutes on top of his 4th line mates. Definately the PK, as a top-line winger on defensive zone draws (insurance) etc. Not unreasonable to assume Reasoner could’ve been giving us 15 draws a night at 10 minutes of work while not cutting into any of the other centres actual minutes. I’m probably making a mountain out of a mole-hill but I guess my point is I’ve always thought Reasoner was pretty good value…

  18. Patrick says:

    Marts – don’t get me wrong, I wish the Hawks still had Reasoner, but based on the way the coaches and management were talking about Dowell over the summer and in camp (some), the writing was on the wall. He would have been kept, but the Sharks and Niemi gave the Hawks (and some fans) an excuse to dump him, right or wrong.

    With that, I finally like this team (funny what winning will do for you) and I think they’ll go far.

  19. Dale Halas says:

    Hawks traded for Reasoner with the original intention of having him on the team. Then this thing called an offer sheet showed up that cost the Hawks a bunch of cap space. The result of that is that they let Niemi walk and traded away Reasoner to dump money (not to get Taffe). Don’t even remotely try to say in hindsight that the Hawks could have afforded Reasoner. They couldn’t have, not from the start of the year. And NOT if you eventually wanted to replace your two 500K d-men with upgrades later in the year.

    The Hawks played the initial part of the season with 22 players. You can’t really expect to survive playing with 21 for the entire year. That is what it would have taken to get that extra 500K for Reasoner.

    The complaints by you guys about saving cap space between games is just silly. If you can, do it. It is an advantage the Hawks have that other teams don’t.

    As for the signing of 50 players, that is another hindsight criticism. Piri was flunking out of school. The team needed to sign him to keep him playing.

    Also, the Hawks thought Kruger was going to play in the NHL THIS year. They never dreamed that they wouldn’t be able to talk him into staying if it meant playing in the NHL. I’m not going to blame the Hawks for an unusual move by a kid.

    Scott is about the only legitimate complaint you guys have. But unless you show me where you said it was a bad signing before the season started, it is just another hindsight criticism.

    As for signing a number of 500K guys and letting them compete to see if any of them can help the team, “what’s wrong with that?” The Sharks did that with two 2M goalies and ended up with their goalie of the future. That is NOT a bad strategy.

    Again the 50 contract limit only became a problem when Piri lost his college eligibility. Not going to blame StanBo for that.

    The Hawks scrimped and saved their money to free up enough cap space to have Leddy and Campoli as their 5th and 6th d-men and bring in Frolik to replace Skille. They could NOT afford their current team from the start of the year. And anyone that says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    The Hawks decided to go for it last year at the cost of having Salary Cap issues this year. It worked for them. They paid for it this year with cap issues and an additional offer sheet that made things much worse. Still I think having that Silver thing around Chicago last summer made it worth it.

  20. Marts says:

    Yeah, they’re clicking. I’d like to see them choke the life out of an opponent (live up to that Ted Nugent song they come out to) but W’s are all that really matter right now. As oddball of a route they may have taken to get here, they seem to have a roster that works for them.

  21. Bobby Polish says:

    I believe Frolik is a center in NHL 11, so maybe that’s how Mr. Bowman got that idea..?

  22. Mark says:

    Was the piece funny? Sure. I don’t quite see the point though. Clearly all the gaffs got the spot light treatment, and hey that goes with the job. At the end of the day though the fact is Stan has made good moves and bad ones. The negatives have been highlighted. Some of the good though is he actually got useful parts for trades he had to make this summer. Now, one could argue that trading Bolland would have better then Buff but in general he got some decent pieces back when the whole league knew he was running a blue light special. I’m not complaining about the cap situation as it brought a title, banners hang forever. That said about 90% of the problem he inherited and he made the best out of it.

    Leddy is mentioned but not that he was targeted in that trade last year. That has all the makings of a home run trade but no mention of that. The big point is the kid was targeted in that deal.

    The whole thing about announcing your needs to the world is beyond laughable and really makes the piece look like pot shots, and throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks. A retarded gorilla in the Amazon knows enough about hockey to understand that all the other GM’s in the league could see what the Blackhawks needed. I actually got as big a laugh from the mental image of 29 other GM’s opening their local newspaper and reading Stan says he really needed a defenseman or he was screwed. Can’t you just see all the GM’s stunned surprise in reading that….. “Peggy, quick get me the Blackhawks Stan Bowman on the phone, looks we got him right where we want him.” The fact is that at best you could say that he overpaid a bit but the trade is respectable. The blue line is stronger than when we had Hendry so I’m willing to pay that price.

    Fact is that wasn’t some industrial trade secret and any GM that shouldn’t be fired on the spot new the situation. So it amounts to written masturbation, it feels good but means nothing. I surely would have liked to see it offset with some praise of Bowman, this summer he lied to the world about being done making moves for cap reasons and then when Versteeg was shipped off half the Hawks nation went crazy saying “he said we didn’t have to make any more moves!”. Since all the GM’s in the league make moves based on what is in the newspaper I think Stan should get a pat on the back for holding his cards so tight in that instance.

    Letting Neimi go was the right move, didn’t see how that fit in the piece. He played that situation perfect as proved by what San Jose paid to get him. Not his fault that Neimi’s agent thought his market value was higher.

    Again, the piece was cute, and funny but really was way over the top. The fact is though it went way out of its way to pile on when not giving the guy any credit at all. Like most things in life things are never as good or bad as they seem.

  23. John says:

    Lot of stuff to cover here….Brandon Pirri has junior eligibilty. He could’ve went to Saginaw. Just because he was flunking out of school doesn’t mean the Hawks had to automatically give him a contract. David Pacan got kicked out of Vermont and they didn’t immediately run after him to give him a contract. I think you’re confusing Brandon Pirri with Dylan Olsen anyways.

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about with Kruger. There was absolutely zero chance he was going to play in the NHL this year. He is a longshot for next year for crying out loud.

    I’m done debating the Reasoner thing because at this point, it’s becoming ridiculous to be pining for someone like him. The fact is, they had an opportunity to keep him at the expense of two guys who did not really contribute to this team at all this year. End of story.

    There’s a big difference between signing a bunch of minimum wage players and what the Sharks did. It’s not even in the same ballpark.

    Again with the hindsight thing, who gives a shit. As much as we’d like to be, we’re not NHL general managers. It’s not our job to be right on the first guess. All we can do is look back at what happened and attempt to explain how things could be better. Besides, after a Stanley Cup victory, if we would’ve railed against every move made at the time we disagreed with, we’d get the “In Stan We Trust” nonsense.

    As for Mark, the piece was meant to be satirical while being factual. I’m sorry this made you so upset that you needed to defend Stan’s honor. I’m also sorry we didn’t say enough nice things about what he’s done. I suppose if we really wanted to be dicks we could’ve mentioned how he was partly at fault for Hjalmarsson getting an offer sheet when he exclaimed a week before that “no one gets offer sheets.” So while you want to give him credit for letting Niemi go, it’s very likely something that didn’t have to happen had he kept his trap shut. Not that it really matters anyway because Crawford has been just as good.

    What we wanted to do was stop giving him a free pass like you did when you said he inherited a problem that was 90% not his fault. When is it ok to fault him? There’s only three guys (Campbell, Brouwer, Bolland) left on this team with contracts that Tallon signed off on, four if you count Hossa.

    There’s a way to talk to the media and there’s a way not to. I think Bowman still has a ways to go before he learns how to manipulate them better.

  24. Marts says:

    A fortunate bounce on Johnson’s goal last night but finally a stranglehold! Yes! I don’t know if it was a combination of an eastern conference foe, an end-of-the-workweek game and good pressure throughout but that game was extremely easy to watch. I was 100% they were going to win. Nice.

  25. BobbyJet says:

    It took us a while to get there, but I like the line-up we have now. To date Campoli looks like a good acquisition and has fit in quite well. The team in general (the forwards particularly) are playing with more grit and there is still a chance we could pluck a 7th dman from waivers before the season concludes.

  26. Kevin says:

    @ John. You’re right about Boynton. I have no problem admitting to over value people who were on the Cup winning team. But I think once they signed Scott, I don’t (or didn’t at the time) feel Boynton was much worse than anyone else they were going to get. Scott was just the main one I had a problem with.

    Also, I missed the part that this ran in the CI and I work with people who pretty much put all the blame on either Tallon or Bowman, so I just read it more like an attack add on Bowman. It makes more sense to me now. Bowman hasn’t been a cap genius and made a fair amount of mistakes this offseason, but I don’t think has been terrible either and did a fair job, IMO. Middle of the road, hopefully gets better.

  27. John says:

    I think it was pretty obvious what the Hawks needed at the trade deadline after Hendry went down with a season-ending injury. I think other teams would have realized this regardless of whether Bowman publicly announced it or not. The Sens knew he was desperate, so they were able to get a 2nd rounder and Potulny in exchange for Campoli.

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