In Stan we trust?

Before we break down this season and spend the rest of the summer killing time til the season starts, we have the draft and then free agency. Some rumors going around involve Bolland and Leddy and have the Hawks moving up in the draft, other rumors are less specific and are more along the lines of team X inquired about player Y. What prompted me to write something today though was a comment I saw on another blog where someone said, (paraphrasing) "After bringing home a second cup, Stan's earned my trust and I'll be good with whatever he does". After two years of hearing quite the opposite about Bowman, it was almost shocking to see that quote. I still plan to post some kind of smoke blowing post about Bowman, but in the meantime, I have to admit, I like where the Hawks are sitting and regardless of what the real power structure is in the Hawks front office, the team currently sits in a position wherein it has just won a cup, it's cap situation is better then a lot of other teams, it has assets in the pipeline and on paper at least appears to be in a position to make some trades that could actually bring back useful players. AND, this team/city/organization has to be seen as a desirable place to be.

So, question of the day, has Stan earned your trust yet?

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  • Well, Stan gave us something to think about. With the trades of Bolland and Frolik, Bowman has cleared over 5 million of cap space and given himself a little room to work with. I think there are a couple of ways to look at this. One metric is to do a pure talent comparison. Bolland and Frolik are better then a lot of players who remained and from that perspective, Bowman isn't so bright.

    The other perspective is a harsh numbers game. These are third and fourth line players who make a combined 5+ million dollars. On a team that doesn't have the top end talent of this team, I think both players rightly should be considered for higher spots. On this team, however, neither was truly a top six forward. I hate to see both go and the return wasn't what I had hoped for, but I"m hard pressed to say it was a complete fleecing. Frolik for Skille has more then paid dividends and Bolland's health and future is questionable. You aren't going to hit a home run at every bat and this was far from a strike out.

    In other news, SB signed Bickell to a 4 year deal. Considering the way it's structured, it seems like Rocky is looking for a little break in money doled out this year. The number is higher then I like, but Bickell is the classic example of what a "contract year" looks like. As always, the potential is just too hard to ignore and his body of work doesn't leave much mystery. If Bickell plays between the middle and upper end of his range, there isn't much to complain about. Even in a cap world, a lot of GM's won't contain themselves and it's not ludicrous to assume Bickell couldn't have done better.

    So, step one of reload is complete but they still have some RFA issues and decisions to make about which veterans to target. This is probably not the right attitude, but my current thinking is that we have seen the cup come to Chicago twice in four years and I'm not going to get twisted about the fact that no other GM wants to give us NHL ready players in return for decent players who make too much money. If SB gets more guys signed and the team plays respectable hockey this year, I'm not going to bitch too much.

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