Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/5/11

When Stan Bowman assumed the position of Chicago Blackhawks GM in July 2009, it came at a time when the Hawks brass were looking for any excuse at all to jettison then incumbent Dale Tallon. The first day of free agency contract mailing snafus served as the perfect “reason.”

Stan’s been John McDonough and Rocky Wirtz’s “boy” ever since they took over in 2008. Dale Tallon (who actually built the Stanley Cup winning team) was specifically kicked to the curb so Stan would have the job handed to him. Might have a little something to do with the Hawks hiring of Stan’s dad, Scotty, as a hockey consultant.

You see when your dad is the most successful hockey coach of all time, Scotty Bowman, your ticket up the ladder has been punched. It’s easy to become the youngest GM in NHL history when you grow up with connections like that.

After the Cup win, Stan had his hands tied. Tallon built the championship team, but he also left Bowman with a salary cap time bomb. And it exploded like an h-bomb as Bowman had to shed salary in a hurry. In his first season, Bowman was hamstrung and had very little to work with.

The 1992 San Diego Padres style fire sale of epic proportions that summer just reminded us how true this fact was: the Hawks had a one year window to win it all. It’s a good thing they did. Because they were a gift Dallas Stars victory on the final day of the season away from not making the playoffs. Yes, a defending champion not making the playoffs.

Bowman had a year left on his deal, but he was given a three-year contract extension that will keep him in the Windy City until the end of the 2015-16 season. I’m still not sold. But then again he’s really only had this past summer to work with, so why should I be? In actuality, he’s only had one offseason to work with, so it’s too early to accurately judge him.

 

 

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