Stan Bowman

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman evaluates newly-signed players

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman evaluates newly-signed players

Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman kept busy during the NHL pause and at the start of the Hawks' Phase 3 training camp that will lead up to the league's 24-team postseason.

Bowman officially signed defensemen Ian Mitchell and Wyatt Kalynuk, along with forward Pius Suter on July 16. Mitchell had agreed to sign with the Hawks in April but there was too much uncertainty at the time during the pause and ahead of the ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Here's what the GM thinks of the additions:

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Ian Mitchell: 21-year-old defenseman from the University of Denver:

"He dominated the games I saw at Denver this year. He's such a good skater, very involved in the play. He [did] a little bit of everything for that team as their captain. I think it bodes well [for] how he's going to transition to the NHL. I think his game lines up with exactly how we want to play. He's a fun player to watch." - Bowman on Jan. 7, 2020

Related: Why new Blackhawks defenseman Ian Mitchell wants to play with Duncan Keith

Wyatt Kalynuk: 23-year-old defenseman from the University of Wisconsin:

"Very talented defenseman, one we watched closely since his draft year. Obviously Philadelphia drafted him but we kept in touch. His progression at Wisconsin was noticeable. His best attribute would be his mobility, his skating. Really exciting offensive defenseman. Really brings a lot of different elements to the table. He’ll complement our group. We have a lot of young defensemen with his skill set. He's pretty unique. Left-handed shot, complements nicely with guys on the right." - Bowman on July 21, 2020

Related: Why Patrick Kane, Blackhawks will want to play with Wyatt Kalynuk

Pius Suter: 24-year-old forward from ZSC Lions of Switzerlands' National League-A:

"He was someone we followed pretty closely, on the team in Zurich, we also had a little inside info. (Marc) Crawford (currently a Hawks assistant coach) coached him back when he was the coach in Zurich. At that time, his first experience with the men’s team. Marc saw something in him as a young player, gave him a chance. Certainly, felt a comfort level with Marc Crawford and how he helped his career. Actual skill set: scored a lot of goals, had more goals than Dominik (Kubalik). So you could see his offensive potential. Probably different style than Kubalik, don’t play the exact same style, but in looking for an offensive player, ability to make plays, it's important to have talented guys who can make plays and be offensive contributors, and that’s what we expect from him." - Bowman on July 21, 2020

Related: Who is Pius Suter and where does he fit into Blackhawks' plans?

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Front office update, 'Last Dance' documentary

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Front office update, 'Last Dance' documentary

Pat Boyle is joined by Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic to discuss what steps the Blackhawks are taking to evaluate their front office and what the timeline looks like for them to fill the role left by John McDonough.

Later, the crew answers what would a "Last Dance" documentary on the Blackhawks look like.

(1:20) - Status update on the Blackhawks' movement in the front office

(6:10) - How will the Hawks handle the NHL draft?

(13:06) - What would a "Last Dance" documentary on the Hawks look like?

(19:15) - Comparisons between the Blackhawks and the Last Dance Bulls

(25:45) - What behind the scenes moment would you want to see in a documentary?

(31:00) - Should the NHL be looking to do a documentary on the Blackhawks?

Listen here or below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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What Blackhawks' firing of John McDonough means for Stan Bowman

What Blackhawks' firing of John McDonough means for Stan Bowman

On Monday, Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz shocked Hawks nation when he announced that John McDonough had been relieved of his duties as president and CEO of the franchise.

McDonough had served as president of the team since 2007 and added the title of CEO in 2011.

Wirtz named his son, Daniel, 43, the team’s interim president as they search for a new leader.

So what does the move mean for senior vice president and general manager Stan Bowman?

First and foremost, it means that what Rocky told The Athletic five weeks ago about not making any changes to the front office no longer applies. Whether discussions behind closed doors are what changed his mind, or the lengthening of the NHL pause and an uncertain future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all bets are off now. 

With McDonough gone, more change is on the table. It's yet to be seen if an overhaul is taking shape, or if it was just one swift move during a break in the action. 

Just because McDonough was let go doesn't mean that Bowman will be, but it could happen.

The GM (since July of 2009) played a major role in landing the supporting talent who helped core players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane grab Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015, but it came at the price of awarding a couple lengthy, costly contracts and shipping away some promising players. The Hawks have also been left with a gap between the talent and experience of newcomers compared to veterans. 

Prior to the pause, the Blackhawks were on the brink of elimination from playoff contention for the third straight year. If the team's ownership group is looking for more of an on-ice product change to go with the business-side one made Monday, that could impact Bowman's future, as well. 

The pause, which has been a time of reflection and contemplation for many, may be just that for the Blackhawks. Time will tell how much action will result from it.

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