Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hawks GM Stan Bowman Calls Season a Complete Failure

Stan Bowman is not happy with his team getting swept out of the playoffs by the Nashville Predators.

Duh. But before you dismiss his state of the Blackhawks union address as superficial, take in the intense remorse of Bowman's tone (full video below the jump). This is a man that is clearly intent on ensuring that the Blackhawks never fall on their face like this in the playoffs again. If only every organization could have a GM that demonstrated this level of ownership of his team's failures and a commitment to right the wrongs.

Bowman, widely respected and considered to be one of the best of the business, adressed the media today and expressed his complete disappointment with the outcome of Chicago's season.

"I think it's time like now to take a look in the mirror and face facts," Bowman said. "When you do that you look at accountability and that starts with me. I need to be better, there's no doubt about it. I'm going to take a look at all things and I can promise you I will be better."

Bowman promised that there will be change moving forward, but didn't get specific. "Change comes in many ways," he said.

He also gave head coach Joel Quenneville a nod, saying that he will continue his tenure behind the bench and stating that the pair would work together to ensure that the failure of this post-season is not repeated.

Here's the complete transcript of Bowman's statement, courtesy of Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times:

The Blackhawks won the Western Conference with 109 points this season and were thought by most pundits to be the clear favorite to come out of the conference. But they were blasted by the upstart Predators, scoring just three goals in four games in the four-game sweep.

Chicago has had to part ways with many top players in order to accomodate the NHL's salary cap. That's because they committed to an annual cap hit of $21 million to keep Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the roster. Year-in and year-out they find creative ways to survive despite the fact that two players make well over a quarter of their cap, and this season with a strong crop of rookies helping the team, they looked to be in great shape. But Chicago did not get a single point from their rookies in the playoffs. highly-touted Nick Schmaltz looked overwhelmed, and the inexperience of Ryan Hartman, Tanner Kero and Vinnie Hinostroza also became apparent, especially against a deep and talented roster like Nashville's.

The experience of this season, and the foul taste in the team's mouth, could actually help Chicago next season. Their rookies won't get any more expensive next year, and if Bowman and his brain trust can find a way to re-energize the defense and add some depth up front, they could be right up there contending for the West again next season.