Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Barring a trade for a bruising veteran defenseman—and general manager Stan Bowman could pull one off—things should quiet down for the Blackhawks until training camp starts in September….
The Hawks are stronger up front after acquiring forward Marian Hossa.
They’re more experienced and better defensively after acquiring forwards John Madden and Tomas Kopecky.
Their goalie quandary is resolved with Cristobal Huet as the main man.
Though they lost four players in free agency, the Hawks were able to bring back the young core that did so well last season. The team and its fan base seem to have moved on after the somewhat unexpected change at general manager last week, and Martin Havlat’s verbal swipes at the front office were taken for what they were by his former teammates—the frustration of a spurned player. No big deal.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The most interesting reaction during the opening night of the Blackhawks Convention came from the fans who overflowed the Hilton Chicago grand ballroom for the opening ceremonies Friday.
They greeted president John McDonough with a chorus of boos, a sure indication the club’s most loyal supporters didn’t like the firing of general manager Dale Tallon. McDonough figures to take some more heat today when he’s part of a question-and-answer session with the fans….
(Stan) Bowman received only lukewarm applause Friday, and coach Joel Quenneville and the players were reluctant to discuss the incident.
‘‘It’s a tough business we’re in,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘A lot of coaches have been let go in the last few years, and we’re seeing more managers changed. It’s a negative part of our business, but Dale will still be around, and this gives Stan an opportunity. He’s really looking forward to it. We’ll move on and look forward to getting better.’‘
The Blackhawks welcome Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
By asking a question of ousted Chicago Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon in today’s press conference I felt as if I was participating in more torture of a good man.
Probably every writer on the call, and presumably Tallon himself, believes he was unfairly relieved of duty on Tuesday when he was re-assigned to an advisor’s role. For the past 24 hours, the buzz around the league has been predominantly pro-Tallon.
Perhaps Tallon could have been a better communicator, and certainly he should have had his paperwork together on his restricted agents. But neither of those are offenses that should carry the penalty of dismissal, particularly in light of the fact that Tallon has pieced together the most exciting team that Blackhawks have had in many, many years.
added 6:39pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Tallon characterized his conversation with McDonough as “cordial” and noted: “He wanted to take the team in a different direction and I was fine with it. Though my position has changed, my goal has not – all I want to do is help win the Stanley Cup; and I can continue to do that for the next three years. That brings me up to 2012.
“The discussion was cordial, businesslike and we agreed this was best for the franchise.”
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
It was a bizarre day on Madison Street, with Stan Bowman, son of Hawks’ pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain senior adviser Scotty Bowman, being elevated from assistant general manager to general manager. Tallon was dropped from GM to senior adviser.
And then there was Hawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz weighing in on what Stan Bowman brings to the job that Tallon couldn’t.
“He’s 36, Dale’s 58,” Wirtz said. “We always want younger people, so what he brings is a system in place to get better. It’s nothing that Dale was doing, but also Dale’s at the tail end of his business career. I’m at the tail end. I’m 56. I want my son and cousins to do better than I am. I have a son who’s 32. I hope they are constantly pushing me.
“We constantly want to bring younger people up in the organization. We don’t want a bunch of players that are 42 years of age on the ice. There’s a reason for that.”
Paging Dale Tallon: Your attorney is on line 2 talking excitedly about an age-discrimination suit.
added 10:14am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sentiment - bordering on outrage - best describes how many NHL people responded to the news of Dale Tallon’s dismissal as general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.
However, anyone shocked by this move by team president John McDonough didn’t pay attention to the constant speculation of Tallon’s demise at varying points of the season.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In life, even in the mixed-up world of professional sport, the assumption is usually that good work will protect you. Provided you produce the necessary results, personality conflicts or internal politics or the fact that you were associated with a previous regime should not be held against you.
Presumably, that’s what Dale Tallon thought, too. Up until Tuesday when he was unceremoniously kicked upstairs, Tallon was the fourth-year general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the brightest and best teams – and stories – in the NHL last season.
added 1:13pm, from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I’ll talk more specifically about trades in a blog Wednesday before the NHL schedule is released, but the Blackhawks are in deep trouble when it comes to the salary cap. They’re almost $3 million over now and next year they’re at $42-plus million on a cap that will surely come down from $56.8 million. And, they have to sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith next summer. What if Toews and Kane want Malkin-Crosby-like second contracts?
If they do, one (Kane) would likely have to be traded.
Stan Bowman, son of Hall-of-Fame Coach Scotty Bowman, talks about the path he has chosen in his hockey career.
The Chicago Blackhawks have promoted Stan Bowman to General Manager and have reassigned Dale Tallon to the position of Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations.
“We are very proud to promote Stan to his new position of General Manager,” Blackhawks President John McDonough said. “He brings a comprehensive knowledge of hockey, along with a tremendous intellect and methodical approach to building a successful team and sustaining success. His involvement with our organization and strong understanding of our roster and our system create a very natural and strong transition. Dale will continue to be an important part of our organization, as he has been for many years.”
from Josh Mora of CSNChicago,
Late Monday night sources told me the Blackhawks had fired Dale Tallon as GM and replaced him with Assistant GM Stan Bowman. With Rick Dudley already gone to Atlanta this off-season, it means that the Blackhawks have turned over virtually their entire front office since John McDonough came in as president, with Bowman being the lone exception.
First, some thoughts about Bowman. Stan is a very sharp guy. Though his background is the financial side, rather than the player/scouting side, he’s been around hockey all his life. (He was named after the Stanley Cup for Pete’s sake!) He’s been involved in the decisions about on-ice personnel since I’ve been around the team. With Stan, the club is in good hands going forward.
But how Stan ascends to the general manager’s position, and how it became available in the first place, betrays big political maneuverings in the front office. Those kinds of things are never healthy—not when those conflicts are ongoing, and in the end they aren’t healthy for those who survive the conflict. These kinds of manifestations of petty jealousies are worrisome for a franchise that has had so much going in the right direction.
from Mike Kiley at ChicagoNow,
The Blackhawks, even as they emerge as paper tigers among the NHL elite, will nonetheless be on trial next weekend at their fan convention.
As promising as their future appears for 2009-10, especially with the addition of high-scoring forward Marian Hossa, they will be asked to present indisputable evidence that shows Cristobal Huet is their No. 1 goaltender beyond a reasonable doubt.
Can that case be proven in a weekend of salesmanship? Was Huet worth 4 years at $5.625 million when the Hawks signed him as a free agent in July, 2008? Will you go home from the festivities next Sunday convinced that the net is in the hands of a master goaltender or a never-will-be?
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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