The Chicago Blackhawks in trouble: The Sun-Times blame Stan Bowman (click here).

As most of my disgust and finger pointing has been at Q for almost 2 years now, some or even many out there would rather turn that finger towards the GM. It brings to light another element discussed only recently on this blog. I am talking about marketing. It might help to read the article in question (click on the title to link there), but I am going to try and sum it up anyway.

Here is a quote,

"Coach Joel Quenneville continues on with his veteran teaching techniques and his speaking monotone that could announce the Earth is being eaten by renegade black holes, and it would put you to sleep. But it’s not Q who’s the problem. Not yet. Something is wrong with the makeup of the team, with the players general manager Stan Bowman has assembled."

I almost completely disagree here and the statement stinks of media twisting, or marketing games. Is this the silent factor we have been overlooking a tad? When the talks calling for Kane's trade started turning up here and there, my wife responded, "they would never get rid of Kane, that would be a marketing nightmare." Is this team more worried about marketing, or having a solid team?

These thoughts do however allow myself sometime to reflect on SB.

Here is another quote from the article,

"If things don’t turn around soon this season or by the beginning of next season, there will be the inevitable clash of front-office personalities and the necessary search for a scapegoat. Either Bowman or Quenneville will have to go."

Today, Stan made the statement that Q is going nowhere. He said that he feels fine with Q's leadership and that he is our guy. Is this just another statement driven by marketing? Does Stan just not see what we see, or is someone else calling the shots who has a special affininty to Q? Unfortunately, since I have been calling Q out almost since his arrival in Chicago, there leaves little room for me to still have faith in his coaching sense, abilities, or style. If what Stan says is true, then I must get used to it.

No need to worry though, because today the Hawks worked on team play, and again on the power-play. Duncan Keith was excused for maintenance reasons, and in a shocking move, we will see new line-combos tomorrow night. Sharp is being moved to 1st line with Toews and Kane. This move might ignite something from those 3 individuals, but I find it funny that a move like this is being sold at the same time that we are being sold an attempt at forging better "team" play.

But this article is supposed to be about Stan. Do we harbor more blame for him, or Q, or do we point the finger at the players themselves. I honestly have a hard time looking at Stan's moves as being that terrible. When he made the deals he made, I thought they made sense. I did however take personal concern with allowing the goalie who won a cup for this city to go, and I also felt pretty bad about the Campoli loss after saying goodbye to Campbell (which I totally agreed with, and still do). I pretty much said that both would come back to haunt us. Besides these 2 bad choices, I really can't point at Stan. Can these 2 bad moves hold a lot of the blame, are they no here to haunt us?

By saying that he believed in Q, is Stan not then placing the real blame on the players themselves? Im sure he isn't throwing himself up as a martyr. Or, has the administration given up on this season entirely (in the form of going passed the 2nd round). Choosing to wait until the many prospects are ready, and Q can lead them to prosperity. Based on what I have seen Q do to prospects, I wouldn't hold my breath on that going well.

It all just sounds like marketing noise to me.

 

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  • Nah, I think the hawks are a committed team that will rally around Q. the players are finally sticking up for someone, it ironically being Q, the guy most of us feel is the problem. This could be the turning point, in fact it has to be, because only a major/core player will bring a difference maker in a trade.

  • Ice, I agree about the trade scenario, and even harbor some doubt as to who if anyone can make that much of a difference. The ground tremors that would follow such a move would surely wake the players up and that may be the difference.

    As for rallying around Q, what else are the players supposed to say when asked for public comment?

    HH, this whole thing smacks of a grand cover-up to me. Spin control, stall tactics, not knowing what to do because there's just too much to do, or, maybe the brass has issued an ultimatum. Fix it with what you have or … If I read between the lines here, (and I am making assumptions, like I always do) I'd say that the 'hawks are conceding the season to whatever may unfold. That they have the pieces to eke into the playoffs—which they do—and that will be enough to sate the fans for the time being until they can clean this mess up when hockey ends in very early spring or resumes again next year and they can offload these expiring contracts.

    So, we have an organization that's choking on its own bafflegab and fobbing it off on the fans as just a blip in an 82 game schedule. "Calm down folks, relax, we're working on it and the player's are about to snap us out of it, I can just feel it."

    Let's see, SBsr was on hand to witness the last three games on the road. The great one has spoken to his son. The 'hawk brass calls a meeting today to discuss the issues. SB issues a vote of confidence in his coach and shows some faith in his players and more or less leaves it up to them to pull their heads out of their asses and get this thing turned around. Sounds fine in principle, but I'm not convinced it is going to happen. Let's see where we sit a week from now …

    Suddenly, it's all about just making the playoffs. And that's just what they may do, finishing eighth is apparently acceptable. As an organization that is a colossal fail in my books. That is what I'm reading into all of this.

    I do, however, sincerely hope that I choke on my own bafflegab …

  • Part of being a Chicago sports fan is to find a goat when something goes wrong and this situation is no different. Context is frequently seen as just another excuse. But if you look objectively at what caused the cap poison pill, there are a lot of things to consider. The bonuses Kane and Toews earned for the cup run was a combined 5 million dollars. And what about the qualifying offer snafu the summer before? How much extra did it cost to keep all the players involved in that? Regarding Niemi, what about Hammer's offer sheet from the Sharks? What if SB keeps Niemi, let's Hammer go and we still wind up where we are today?

    The team that won the cup had pretty much everything you need. The team that exists now does not. Some players are true building blocks that are essential to building a team, other players are nice additions that may get you over the top but are not going to hold a team together on their own. I don't want to give my list of which players I think belong to each category, but I think it's clear this team has lost building blocks and tried to get by through asking nice addition players to take on the role of building block players. Sadly, I think it's only going to get worse from here.

    SB has collected a decent holding of prospects and the future of this team is very likely dependent on how well the organization can develop them. Last summer, I don't think there was any big fish who was realistic for the Hawks to snag and I'm not real optimistic about this summer either. That leaves SB to either make some trades or keep on the course of developing talent. Regardless, it won't come quick enough.

  • Wings go for #21 in a row at home tonight.....sooooo thats happening :)

    Cheer up boys! Hawks are playoff bound! A couple Central Division teams will likely end up devouring each other in the first round anyways so if you get a chance at SJ or Vancouver (where you are trending now) it could actually work out better! Still LOTS of hockey to play and plenty of time for a few other teams to hit their usual regular season slumps. (I'm hoping you guys will pass the slump-bug to STL next! My God! Are they ever gonna fall off this pace???)

  • OT, this team is broke and it needs fixin'.

    As for trending, we're trending right out of the playoff picture, and yes, you're right a couple of central division teams are going to end up pounding on each other in the first round. If the 'hawks make it, I'd prefer they play the Wings. I think we could pull the upset there. The other teams, forget about it. Wings/Hawks would be a great series based on the games so far this year.

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