Blackhawks

Bowman ready to deal, but 'there's nothing imminent'

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Bowman ready to deal, but 'there's nothing imminent'

CALGARY, Alberta Stan Bowman said the talk between general managers has continued, but its not any more busy than it was before the All-Star break.

So if youre itching for trade action, relax. Not happening right now.

I think anyone who says theyre close to a trade is full of it at this point, Bowman said prior to the Blackhawks game against the Calgary Flames on Friday night. Theres just nothing happening.

Welcome to the parity era, folks, where every team believes its still in the playoff race even if it may not be. That will change as the Feb. 27 trade deadline nears. But Bowman, who reiterated that hes still looking for another defenseman, said theres nothing imminent on the horizon for the Blackhawks.

I talked to some GMs today and said, What are you hearing? They said, Nothing. Theres nothing going on other than teams looking to get players. Nobodys giving them up, Bowman said. Its a big logjam at this point. Until teams fall more out of the race, were not going to see anything happen.

So for everyone who wants to see a big move made ASAP after that dismal 8-4 loss in Edmonton on Thursday night, apply the brakes. Even if Bowman is ready to pull the trigger, nobodys ready to give him the bullets.

No, Bowman is not looking for a goaltender. While he admits the Blackhawks netminders could be better Corey Crawford was pulled after allowing five on Thursday hes confident that theyll rebound. Hes also not willing to make drastic changes.

Bowman will keep hunting for that defenseman. He knows its a weak spot for the Blackhawks right now and that there are a lot of discussions on how to improve. But as far as buying, Bowman is waiting patiently for the right seller to come along.

I like our personnel, Bowman said. Were trying to upgrade; its not like we have guys playing who cant play in the NHL. We have guys who can improve on their level of play. At the same time were trying to enhance our group instead of completely remake it. I think time will tell on that. There are a lot of teams looking for a defenseman, and you never know.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”