by PuckStopsHere on 07/15/09 at 02:31 AM ET
Stan Bowman has been seen as a future NHL GM for a couple years now. He has served various roles with the Chicago Blackhawks in his eight years with the team (special assistant to the GM, director of hockey operations and assistant GM). The question was where would he become a general manager and when. If it was to be in Chicago, something would have to happen to Dale Tallon, who was their current GM. In Chicago he has his father, Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman working as the senior advisor of hockey operations. The Bowmans had a lot of power behind the scenes and were pressuring Chicago team president John McDonough to give Stan the GM job. What was needed was a strong excuse to show that Tallon was not competent and this had been hard to produce given the Blackhawks rise in the standings. However, Tallon made his mistake with the qualifying offers of several of the Blackhawks restricted free agents. The offers were not properly tendered, but it didn’t cause too much problem as all the players in question have resigned and not for significantly more than they probably would have without the mistake (Kris Versteeg and Cam Barker probably got a bit more money but nothing significant). This was the mistake used to push for Tallon’s replacement.
Stan Bowman is seen largely as a financial guy. He has a degree in finance and computer systems from Notre Dame University and has eight years working with the Blackhawks. If he is a financial guy, the Blackhawks salary cap issues can likely be traced back to him. The Blackhawks find themselves very close to the salary cap with the signing of Marian Hossa and it is widely predicted that one of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews or Duncan Keith will not be able to be kept next year due to salary cap issues. Bowman, like new Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher has the qualification of a father who was a successful NHL builder. This displays the fact that the NHL generally does not look very hard to find qualified GM candidates and nepotism is a way to get into the old boys club.
Dale Tallon is pushed upstairs to become a senior advisor of hockey operations.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a team on the rise. Some poor salary cap management may begin to derail things next year in a worst case. This doesn’t change regardless of who is GM. It is quite reasonable to expect some of the upcoming problems are Bowman’s doing. It isn’t clear is Bowman will do any better than Tallon would have. I don’t expect this move will make much of a change to the direction of the Chicago Blackhawk organization.
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