At 6s and 7s

If you’re somewhat new to our blog, you probably have seen a reference to an at-best odd working relationship between GM Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville. You may wonder why we think that, so it may be best to go through the years and see how we got to this point.

Stan Bowman became GM of the Hawks in July of 2010, not long after Dale Tallon was strangely allowed to run the draft and free agency but then saddled with the whole Qualifying Offer Fiasco, even though it certainly wouldn’t have been Tallon’s duty to actually stick these things in the mail. Whatever. Tallon took responsibility, the axe came down, blah blah blah.

The ’09-’10 season obviously couldn’t have been much smoother. Bowman only made the one deal, which was Cam Barker–a player Q never cared for–out for Nick Leddy and Kim Johnsson (God rest him). We make that joke about Johnsson being dead because he only played eight games with the Hawks before suffering a “concussion” that ruled him out for the rest of the season. The rumors of what actually happened have flown, and someone will fill you in in the comments if you don’t know I’m sure.

I don’t know that any bitterness was started between Q and Stan after Stan provided his coach with a player he couldn’t use, for whatever reason. That’s a real stretch. So let’s not say that.

The following summer came Cap-acolypse, where half the roster had to be jettisoned. This really shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone, we all knew it was coming. Because of those cap problems, Stan really couldn’t bring in NHL-ready talent in return for what went out. Viktor Stalberg was about the only one, Jeremy Morin into the system.

Whatever vets Stan did bring in certainly didn’t work out. Fernando Pisani, anyone? Nick Boynton… well, you may remember the #ShouldveBeenBoynton hashtag we started. Jake Dowell played 79 games for this team. Jassen Cullimore… well the name is enough, isn’t it? So yeah, Stan saddled Q with a lot of trash, but there wasn’t much choice. His two mid-season deals netted Chris Campoli and Michael Frolik, who both played significant roles in that year, though the former kind of had a big hand in ending it (no matter, Hawks should have never been in a Game 7 anyway).

It’s the summer of 2011 where the trouble seems to start. I’m not sure anyone knows why. That summer saw perhaps Stan’s most active, as Andrew Brunette, Jamal Mayers, Steve Montador, Sami Lepisto, Sean O’Donnell, Dan Carcillo, were all brought in, Brian Campbell (a player Q was lukewarm on at best but had been the Hawks’ best blue-liner the previous season) was traded to Florida to open up room for Nick Leddy and cap space, along with a few other measures.

It’s the signing of Lepisto and Montador where we really started to notice something was awry. The year before, the Hawks’ bottom pairing was a total mess, and Hjalmarsson took a huge step back after the Cup year, which made Campbell’s play that year all the more impressive. In fact, it was Campbell and Seabrook who took a lot of the shifts late in games with a lead that year, such were Keith’s and Hammer’s struggles. It was obvious that Stan was trying to provide Q with a solid 1-6, even without 51 Phantom.

Montador’s first game saw him play forward. That was repeated. And for the middle of the season, both Lepisto and Montador sat behind John Scott. Needless to say this was… beyond fathomable. Montador and Lepisto were hardly stars but had been useful NHL d-man for a long time, and both were discarded almost immediately upon arrival. It’s what forced Stan to then go out and get Johnny Oduya.

Brunette was an odd fit, and actually never fit because he couldn’t move. Carcillo became a toy that Q loved to bounce all over the lineup until he blew out his knee trying to maim Tom Gilbert. Stan launched John Scott to avoid having to watch him play, but then provided his coach Brandon Bollig it what I can only assume was a ploy to placate him.

Bollig ended up playing more those last 10 games than Michael Frolik, who Q completely soured on that year. Fro only played 63 games that year, and I don’t really recall him having any significant injury. He was just scratched that much. He came back to save himself in the playoffs, of course, because that was his thing.

Stan’s attempt to solve the 2C hole with Brendan Morrison or Ryan Johnson didn’t work at all, and the Hawks bit it to a Phoenix team with four centers and a pretty nuclear power play that series. Boy that sounds familiar.

And this is where the Q-to-Montreal rumors started. They weren’t around all that long, but it was definitely known in league circles that Marc Bergevin wanted to ask to bring Q to the Habs after being installed as GM, and Q wasn’t exactly hesitant to go.

While I don’t have moles in the organization, what I was told then (and take this with heavy grains of salt) by people with some knowledge of the inner workings is that after the exit to the Coyotes, a lot of players wanted Mike Kitchen launched. Understandable, as he’s a moron. Stan was all ready to pull that trigger, but McD stepped in to make for a clear line of responsibility. President hires the GM, GM hires the coach, coach gets to hire his assistants. So Q fired the players’ guy in Mike Haviland and installed another one of his cronies in Jamie Kompon. If this is all true, and I don’t know that it is, I don’t exactly know how it affects the relationship, I just know it couldn’t have helped it.

The extended summer of 2012 (thanks to the lockout) saw Stan not panic. With the acquisition of Oduya and the growth of Leddy the defense was pretty much settled. He added Sheldon Brookbank, probably for more of that toughness that Q loves, and Michal Rozsival. The only forward additions was basically Brandon Saad, and Carcillo had to get hurt in the opener to even get Saad into the lineup. Andrew Shaw started the year with the Hawks after coming up for the second half of the previous season and winning Q’s heart.

The only midseason acquisition last season was Michal Handzus, and at the time we thought it was only to shore up the 4th line and give the Hawks someone else who could win a draw (at the time they only had Toews). Q plugged him into the top six, and it came up trumps when the whiff of a Cup put a few more miles in the legs of Zus.

I can only assume that continually pulling an Ace in 2013 emboldened Q to think he could get away with anything, and that he had solidified his place with the higher-ups and couldn’t be challenged. Because it’s this summer and season where things have gone slightly haywire between coach and GM. We’ve covered that at length this season, so there’s no need to go through it again now.

It’s strange, because both tend to see the game and how the Hawks should play in the same way. Both want to play a fast possession game, and Stan’s drafts (though maybe not his signings) have reflected that. But Q has opted for the slower and less skilled options all year here. And the only kid that has consistently played this year was a Dale Tallon pick.

But both are entrenched. Stan was groomed for this post by his Dad, who was something of an oracle for McDonough and Wirtz when they took over. But so is Q. And Scotty Bowman isn’t as heavily involved these days, partially due to health concerns. So when McD and Wirtz are to decide on their own, they’ll look at a coach who brought them two Cups and a GM who’s done it still with mostly a core he inherited. That doesn’t look too good for Stan.

But it’s something that has got to be smoothed out, or at the very least Stan has to assert himself and shape this roster how he wants it exactly. But then there’s no guarantee that Q won’t break it to prove he’s smarter.

  • http://www.nosqldatabases.com Derek Stainer

    There was actually something more to the whole Johnsson thing?

    • HungryHungryPanda

      Like a good part of this article, it’s a lazy rumor. Some have said that he fooled around with someone’s wife/girlfriend.

      In reality, he suffered a concussion and his career was over. Crazy, right?

      • rhodes

        True, the article contains a fair amount of speculation. But, neither Stan nor Q is going to come out and publicly admit to having a problematic working relationship, so some amount of reading between the lines in necessary.

        And it’s hard not to wonder about these guys being on different pages. The whole situation of the Montador acquisition was really strange. Here’s a Trib article from around that time:

        http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-30/sports/chi-gm-bowman-optimistic-blackhawks-will-sign-montador-20110630_1_stan-bowman-viktor-stalberg-frolik-and-chris-campoli

        Stan clearly intended to bring Montador in as a defenseman, and then Q goes and plays him at wing. Hard not to interpret that as a big “fuck you” from Q to Stan.

        • jordyhawk

          I don’t remember Monty spending significant time at wing. I do remember him being used on the second PP unit as kind of a high-slot triggerman but that’s about it. I didn’t read much into it.

          • Bob Lanz

            Actually in front of the net too, brookbank minutes

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          This also seems to be the case with Brookbank playing wing too… it’s like a giant “aw heeeeeeellllll nooooo” to playing Morin or some of the other kids. If that is truly the case, it doesn’t speak very highly of the relationship that Stan and Q have that Q can’t make his point in direct conversations with Stan where he tells Stan what kind of player he wants and what he expects. Are the channels just sort of shut down? It seems sort of petulant and childish to cut off your nose to spite your face right?

      • MattC86

        Nothing in the article except the part he cautioned you to take with a grain of salt was a lazy rumor.

      • TitanTransistor

        Most of the this article is just a factual list of player acquisitions and player usage. There’s a clear disconnect between the players Stan is bringing in, and the way Q is playing them, or choosing not to play them.

        • MattC86

          Either that, or they’re completely on the same page and Stan signed Montador to play forward, Lepisto to get coffee for Q, and sang Morin and Pirri’s praises all summer in order the get them ready to keep the beats from eating the whole press box spread.

          • I Remember The Roar!

            It’s called “building their trade value”

      • The Nutbrown Hare

        Maybe he slept with Ryne Sandberg’s wife.

        • Bobby Otter

          LeBron’s mom?

  • shinkicker

    This post is nightmare fuel. I’d happily forgotten the name Cullimore (etc) and now it’s back along.

    • rhodes

      Just think “Campoli.” That will get Cullimore out of your mind.

      • shinkicker

        I never forgot that one.

  • Hawkeytalk

    Wait, didn’t Stan draft Saad? Am I reading that right?

    • wowwowweewoo

      yes

    • MattC86

      He’s talking about Ben Smith.

    • TheFullAmonte

      Saad has transcended kid status to Gaad status

  • jordyhawk

    I propose a Verstygian reconciliation. Stan and Q meet, agree to share responsibility for this unfortunate blunder, further agree to dump him on the first willing dupe (no quo required), and move forward harmoniously.

  • Bannerman

    If you’re a hockey coach and are from Canada, isn’t coach of the Canadiens a dream job? Wouldn’t it be like being the manager of the New York Yankees in baseball? When teams like that become interested it gets attention. Just speculation on my part but coaches always seem to want to keep their options open long term.

    • Bobby Otter

      Not if you’re from anywhere but Quebec/Ottawa.

      Does Q speak French? I assume he does if his name has been rumored there before.

      • 1benmenno

        Does Q speak English?

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          He is fluent in Stache.

      • CozBullsFan

        Q is indeed fluent in French.

    • jhb

      From things I’ve seen over the years, it is thankless and intense. Not to mention this coach must speak French for their francophone media. When they hired Randy Cunneyworth as a coveted coach, all they could talk about was that he couldn’t speak French. Q does, though.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      It’s a dream job if you win, a nightmare if you don’t hoist a cup in four years. If you think WE have high expectations, talk to Habs fans.

  • Jeff Lebowski
    • wanker751

      “Coach Q, do you feel your team had enough energy and Girt in game 7?”

      “Tell me about the 4th line?”

  • ballyb11

    I strenuously disagree.

    Very close to the same page, IMO.

    • ballyb11

      imHo.

  • Special Agent Dale Cooper

    What is the Kim Johnson rumor? Can’t believe I missed that one

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      I wasn’t around this board at that time, so I’m not sure what was discussed here, but I’ve heard everything from the party line that he suffered a concussion and has no plans to play again to he was difficult and asking for his family to be flown over for games from Sweden. I’ve also heard people mention that they secretly let him go for salary cap reasons (which doesn’t make a ton of sense to me). If anyone has heard other rumors, I’d love to hear them too.

      • 1benmenno

        Kim Johnsson went to Wisconsin
        To work at a lumbermill there
        When he walks down the street
        The people he meets say
        “Aren’t you Kim Johnsson?”

    • TheFullAmonte

      Don’t know if it started here (or SCH at the time) but it definitely caught on a lot that he was dead/missing.

      • The Other One

        It was a joke – no ever thought he was dead or missing, there was just never an explanation, so that filled the void

    • CozBullsFan

      The rumor was that Johnson did something very inappropriate with another player’s wife or significant other. It caused a locker room revolt and he was deemed injured because of it. No one was really able to find a situation in which he was “concussed.” The rumors were based on certain reputable sources. The MSM not writing on it was a result of McD’s censorship.

  • Special Agent Dale Cooper

    I wonder if the players still wanna launch Kitch into the sun!!?? Love Fels callin’ him a moron…lol…it’s funny because it’s true

  • Crash

    So Beedin’ Blue has not been updated in 3 weeks but we are the bandwagon franchise.

  • wanker751

    Well I agree with the chain of command MC set up that is how it should be… I would not want my assistants given to me. I would need similar minded people I can trust..even though these two are dumb..

    If it is true then if Bowman goes so does Q…. because you cannot bring in a GM who cannot hire his coach.

    But Chicago teams always seem to do this shit ass backwards anyway so who knows..

    • DJ

      The chain is perfectly reasonable; a head coach should be able to pick his assistants. But someone above the chain (in this case, probably McDonough) should be able to tell the coach, “look, I know they’re your buddies, but they’ve also demonstrated they’re morons. Our PP and PK are not what they ought to be. If you don’t fire them, I will.”

      • wanker751

        I agree there needs to be a discussion on all levels… coach should discuss players with GM, GM should discuss player usage with coach…

        • DJ

          It depends on the personalities. When Joe Gibbs first took over the Redskins, he had Bobby Beathard as his GM. Gibbs’s quote was “Bobby decides who comes to training camp; I decide who stays and who leaves.”

          In the earlier comment, I was trying to illustrate a sort of “safety mechanism.” Suppose the coach stands by his assistants well beyond the point of no return. Then all three go. If that extreme action can be minimized by a higher- up who can tell the coach that it may be time to revamp his staff, then it’s good. You’ve seen plenty of coaches in the colleges and pros shake up their staffs as a way to buy a year or two to right the ship.

          Gee, did I just crush my cliche quota for this post, or what?

      • I Remember The Roar!

        Yep – group discussion, individual decision

      • CozBullsFan

        McDonough is the reason there is any strife between Stan and Q. He wants to project stability in the organization. Keeping Q happy does that. Stan will do his thing. Whether Q uses his players is completely a coaches decision.

  • Andrew Heitman

    I just want to see the kids Bowmans got. Thats it. In a full 82 game season, for that awful January-February lull, bring up some youth that appears to be ready for 10-20 games. Thats it. Thats all I want.

  • BestPredsForward

    “I know things around here have been tumultuous recently. You may have noticed. What has gone on here has been my decision, with the support of my comrades. Everything we’ve done is for the benefit of those of you who truly enjoy this blog and what we do, and not for those who use it as some platform.”

    This was the last paragraph in their Game 7 wrap a couple days ago. What is this in reference to?

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Coupla regulars got banned for comments in a blog post about racism in hockey. Additional regulars didn’t agree with the bannings and decided to leave.

      • BestPredsForward

        Ahh that’s unfortunate.

        • tonym

          I’m actually kind of happy. A lot of their posts- 80% of the time had nothing to do with hockey. It was a bunch of inside jokes and stuff which was irritating to scroll through when I’m trying to find out about hockey.

          • Pete

            Agree. When I first checked this website out the inside jokes and comments not about hockey made the site unattractive. Its more about Hockey now. Good.

          • Bob Lanz

            Wrong, but your entitled to a wrong opinion.

          • TitanTransistor

            Agreed.

          • CozBullsFan

            You really missed the biggest reason for everyone being here. We ARE all friends. Many of the newer people had the balls to get over your reasons for not joining. Myself included when these writers were at SCH.

          • ahnfire

            Coz, it may have been the biggest reason for you and some others, but it wasn’t for others.

            Do not insult people because they have different standards for what they want out of a hockey comment section.

          • Bob Lanz

            Too bad you feel that way, most of those people were very knowledgeable about hockey they just liked to have fun. I feel sorry for you.

          • CozBullsFan

            I’m one of those regulars. The community was what made TCI attractive in the first place. We are all friends. I don’t give a shit if you had to scroll through inside jokes. Join the conversation and get the fuck over it like everyone else did.

      • BodomSlayer

        Man where the hell have I been? God I need to pay more attention.

    • HungryHungryPanda
  • I Remember The Roar!

    Let’s be honest, the biggest problem here is that the Blackhawks are a professional sports team and we are passionate fans. That leads to a team / fan relationship where the team isn’t going to be a wide-open portal of constant information on the behind-the-curtain inter workings, despite the fact that it’s what fans like us would like. In this case, showing us their cards, also shows the rest of the league and allows them to fully assess our motives and weaknesses. We definitely can’t have that.

    It’s this relationship that spurs our speculation on Q’s roster management and the relationship between Stan and Q. In the end, they seem to be “off” by 1, maybe 2, players on the roster. But without any context, we can’t really understand what’s going on.

    • Oregon_hawk

      At the least we can be confident that Q is mis-managing the resources he has.

      He dresses a player and plays him for three minutes. His own single-best-metric of his valuation of a player (the amount of minutes he plays him) shows he thinks Bollig is not good at hockey.

      But he still dresses him.

      We also know that Bowman has provided Q with players that – by statistics, some of them fancy – exceed a player like Bollig in terms of quality of play.

      • I Remember The Roar!

        My personal response: Word. Agree.

        My Devil’s Advocate response: Q wants to lean on the core. They’re the core because they’re good. It’s better to let Morin play for 20:00 min a night in Rockford than 7:00 min a night in Chicago? (Obviously, this only really holds water in the regular season – just trying to understand Q’s logic – there must be some, somewhere.)

        • I Remember The Roar!

          After further review – this holds absolutely no water.

          • birdhead

            No, I think there is something there. There’s two different ways to interpret Bollig playing three minutes in game 7: one, Q doesn’t trust him enough to play four minutes; two, Q just wants to put the guys with the best chance of scoring out there.

            I think it’s probably a bit of both but find it frustrating that the Hawks can’t have a 4th line that’s good at enough things that it’s *worth* putting them out there 10 minutes a night. They did in the regular season, after all.

        • Jim

          I think the real transgression was sticking with Handzus for the first 4 games against LA. An effective 2nd line would have changed the results.

        • Bob Lanz

          But the reason you want Morin to skate 20 minutes a night in rockvegas is to get better and ready to play nhl minutes. My question is when do you let the player have a legitimate opportunity to succeed at this level on this team that is in constant contention for a cup? I don’t have the answer but I’m not sure Stan does either cause Q will not give willingly do it. Only if there are multiple injuries do you see him letting prospects ice time. That is prospects everyone else wants to see, he definitely has his faves. (Nordstrom for instance).

  • The Other One

    Okay, if there really were a major problem between Stan and Q, this wouldn’t have happened the way it did (Stanley Cup or no – when asked about it, there was no hesitation on Stan’s part):

    http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=678975

    Who doesn’t have the occasional misunderstanding with their boss? If you have a good relationship, shit doesn’t blow up, and these items don’t qualify as shit blowing up.

    • Oregon_hawk

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

      As much as hockey players say “Hockey is a business, I understand” when a player gets traded, or a coach gets fired… they’re people and you can’t futz with relationships and not cause problems.

      If Q really does have a strong relationship with a lot of players (and remember, this blog rightfully is head over heels for the testicular fortitude that Q instills in the players on his team), firing him for roster mismanagement or losses or whatever isn’t a simple thing.

      He won a Cup at the time, he has the players on his side, he is one of the winning-est coaches in history, and they just spent 4-5 years and a shit-ton of money making Chicago one of THE places to go to as a coach, trainer, player, fan, anything. Firing Q is not the way to build on that image.

      It is more than possible to not like someone, have professional differences, have deep misgivings about their continued role in an organization but still think it would be worse to fire the person than to continue working with them.

      Also, there’s the question of who replaces him. There isn’t a “Q, but without the lineup bullshit” on a shelf at Coaches-R’-us

      • The Other One

        Man, you’re reading a lot into every little move that gets made. Sometimes you do something and it works, and sometimes it doesn’t – it’s called life. We nitpick the shit out of everything going on here, but end of the day, the Blackhawks are one of “the jewel” organizations in the NHL, and both Stan and Q had something to do with that (as did everyone else involved).

        Yes, the loss sucks, but I’m willing to go with this for a few more years before we consider blowing it up

        • Bob Lanz

          I didn’t hear anyone say blow it up. But your head is in the sand if you don’t see obvious problems that if addressed will equal more on ice success.

      • The Nutbrown Hare

        Perhaps moving forward, this season might have served to teach Joel enough to provide us with an *actual* Q without the lineup bullshit.

        • Oregon_hawk

          I wouldn’t count on it.

          Even during last season (12/13), in which the hawks rolled 4 lines like a boss and wrecked everyone’s face, Bollig still dressed 25 games with an ATOI of about 8 minutes.

          Q’s gotta have his binky.

          • The Other One

            Or maybe he thought the situation called for it

          • Oregon_hawk

            There are three players who averaged <10 min on ice for 12/13:

            Jamal Mayers (6:58 in 19GP)
            Carcillo (8:00 in 23 GP)
            Bollig (8:01 in 25 GP)

            Next closest was handzus @ 12:07 (Bicks, Brookbank, and Frodo are all between 12 and 13)

            Q routinely plays at least one individual who is – on average – only usable for 2/3 of the time a fourth liner is useful.

            What situation calls for this all of the time?

          • I Remember The Roar!

            This only seems to have an affect on the middle of the lineup though. If you look at the past 4 seasons, Toews and Kane are right on their average TOI/G in the regular season, while Sharp and Hossa have actually been down by a minute or so per game.

          • Oregon_hawk

            True, but as we saw in this most recent series, the middle of the lineup can be where a lot of the battles that matter are fought.

          • I Remember The Roar!

            Without a doubt. The differences between the top teams are not the high end guys, its the middle and bottom of the lineup. I just didn’t expect it.

          • Oregon_hawk

            It’s an interesting counter-point to the ToS’ common thread that leaning on the top guys overworks them and wears them out (unless they’re always overworked and worn out)

          • The Other One

            Why do we need to micro manage every move and player? You’re expecting a 100% success rate. That doesn’t happen

          • Oregon_hawk

            All results should be scrutinized for areas which can be improved. Not doing this is foolish.

            Noting that Q often states his desire to “roll four lines” and his recognition of how much better of a team the Hawks are when they can “roll four lines”, and the contradiction routinely using a roster spot for a player he won’t play is identifying an area that can be improved.

            I don’t see the problem with this.

          • I Remember The Roar!

            “Q’s gotta have his binky” is a very common saying around these parts, and I get it for Zus as the two have a long history. But how has Bollig gotten into Q’s pocket?… great work ethic in practice? cooks the Q family dinner on a regular basis? cracks great jokes on the bench?

          • Chad 97

            Bollig is from St. Louis. Maybe when Q was there the family got some dirt on him!

          • The Nutbrown Hare

            Oh, I don’t truly think so, either. The only hope to cling to is this is the first playoff exit under Q where he is truly deserving of some hard questions regarding a number of personnel decisions he made. Detroit still outclassed the Hawks in 2009…so did Vancouver in 2011. The loss to Phoenix was largely pinned on the OT goals Crawford allowed (and maybe Raffi Torres, to some extent). It’s a little harder for Q to avoid more scrutiny this time around and potentially re-assess some of his long time tendencies…though I don’t really expect it to happen.

            Still wouldn’t want anyone else coaching this team, however.

  • HossasPierogi

    Throughout my hockey career (and it hasn’t been much of one), I’ve seen coaches constantly prefer big, slow guys over small, fast guys. I think that’s primarily at the root of the Q/Bowman problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think it gets too much more complicated than that. Montador and Lepisto were small John Scott was big — same deal as now.

    What galls me is Q pinning the “can’t play defense” rap on Morin, Pirri and Regin. Are you telling me Bickell and Bollig are defensive stars? And while Pirri is no Patrick Kane, Kaner was given time to develop his defensive skills, something Pirri never was given the opportunity to do.

    • I Remember The Roar!

      There absolutely has to be something seen at practice or off the ice that kills these players (it’s the only way my brain can fathom the choices) because the in-game performances have been too sporadic to gather any information from.

      We talk a lot about Q benching players because they have a rep of not being good on defense. Is this something we have all inferred, or has Q come out and said this?

      • HossasPierogi

        I don’t know if Q is actually on record as saying this, but I know that defensive lapses were pinned on Pirri. In addition, there’s also a lot of talk about “responsible” positioning and play, which basically boils down to not making mistakes and defense. Plus, putting Bollig out there for offense would be even weirder.

    • Oregon_hawk

      I was listening to a podcast (can’t remember who it is, but the guy who basically keeps the beat on the icehogs), and he said that it wasn’t really Pirri’s defense that got him traded, it was Pirri’s skating.

      Apparently it was really a liability, and a trained observer apparently picks it out rapidly.

      One thing the hawks are, is a fast skating team. I can see that totally getting him the boot.

      • HossasPierogi

        How does that explain Bollig, who’s a horrific skater, much worse than Pirri

        • Oregon_hawk

          Bollig isn’t centering Sharp/Hossa/Kane et al.

          Although, granted, handzus gets a pass, and I can’t explain that.

          I’m just repeating was was said by the guy who watches a lot (all?) of rockford’s home games. And I think gets interviews with the players and sometimes coaches.

          • HossasPierogi

            And he’s big.

          • HossasPierogi

            But I guess Handzus has the skating ability to do this. He’s big, too.

          • I Remember The Roar!

            Each player has a role. I don’t think Q is looking at each person as an individual but where they fit into the type of team he wants.

            Bollig is a big guy who can do some policing (not a fan of that role, but even Toews has said he likes it when the players police themselves sometimes), isn’t a complete wildcard like Car Bomb, and does have a nice wrister the few times a year he has an opportunity to show it off. Despite the fact that most people would say that Pirri or Morin are better hockey players, overall, they’re not better in that role.

          • The Other One

            This – and no, I am not a fan of the role too, but I’m not going to get worked up over Bollig (except in he playoffs)

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Don’t know about Regin or Morrin, but Talon has said the same thing about Pirri.

  • Hawkeytalk
  • Oldfarthawkfan

    Looking at the center UFA’s probably the best 2 under thirty are Dave Bolland (he wants core money now, so no way), and Peter Regin (yes that Peter Regin) Mikael Grabovski at 30 years made $3 mil. last year as a late signing to Washington, I know last year there was much talk last free agent period among the blog that the Hawks should sign him. I can’t see him asking for much more this year, trade Oduya, use the money to sign Grabovski? His points were down this year but he was a plus player for Washington.

    • To Saad be the glory

      Grabo was horrible his last yr in TO partly because he was in Carlyles dog house most of the time. I honestly wonder if Ovechkin had something to do with the Washington signing and then they caught lightning in a bottle for a yr. One lazy backcheck and he would be in Q’s dog house so fast we would never see him again.

      • birdhead

        Why would Ovechkin have anything to do with it???

        • To Saad be the glory

          Because they are fellow countrymen I believe for one and I found it strange that the Caps signed him for 3 mil at the “last minute” when TO had used a buyout on him. Like I said,I was just wondering.

          • birdhead

            Grabovski is from Belarus.

          • To Saad be the glory

            My mistake then,thank you.

          • birdhead

            They did both play for Dynamo Moscow, but not in the same year. It’s not impossible that they know each other or are friends, of course, but even just Russia is p. big, let alone all the other former Soviet countries.

          • birdhead

            Also TO’s buyout was one of TO’s dumbest moves ever imo. That’s still a good player there. I couldn’t believe how little he signed for.

          • To Saad be the glory

            I will agree with that, it was a dumb move by TO in hindsight.But after the season he had at 4mil plus I cant totally blame them.The Clarkson signing and the Phaneuf extension make it look 10 times worse as well in retrospect

          • birdhead

            Ehhh. There was a pretty strong consensus that it was a bad buyout at the time, not in hindsight (I didn’t like it at the time, for example). I don’t think it was ever a smart move.

  • Hags

    The Qualifying Offer Fiasco, Fernando Pisani, Cam Barker, Jake Dowell, Nick Boynton, Jassen Cullimore, Kim Johnsson, John Scott, Chris Campoli, Sean O’Donnell, Brendan Morrison, Ryan Johnson, Sami Lepisto, Steve Montador, Andrew Brunette, Jamie Kompon, Mike Kitchen, Brandon Bollig and Daniel Carcillo.

    That’s a staggering amount of awful in one post.

    • The Nutbrown Hare

      Agreed…and yet that list still doesn’t include Jack Skille.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        It’s not like we had the cap space for Kopitar anyway….

        • The Nutbrown Hare

          Sure. I’m not blaming Bowman for any of the cap issues he was handed…just shuddering at another awful name I remember from 2010-2011.

    • TitanTransistor

      Chris Campoli had that one bad turnover, but wasn’t he otherwise quite serviceable as a puck moving d-man?

      But yes, Stan Bowman has swung-and-missed on far more acquisitions than he knocked out of the park. We can add the resigning of Handzus, Rosiz, Khabi, to the list.

      • Hags

        Campoli was serviceable enough and thought he could devlop into a solid player. That TO changed the course of his career, and now he is in Sweden I believe.

        Point being with my post- it’s comical seeing all those players listed in one post. makes me thankful that the Hawks didn’t have to do another roster purge after the Cup run in 2013.

    • HawkIPA

      Meh, every roster has its busts, this is nothing out of the ordinary in the cap-era NHL. Kitchen and Kompon are inexcusable though.

  • Pete

    Didn’t the Bowman’s hire Q? Or was it Tallon?

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Tallon. Bowman resigned him.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Stan hasn’t been brilliant at signing free agents. What he HAS been brilliant at is keeping his core intact without bankrupting the team. And Cap issues aren’t going away, what with DDN / Saad and Leddy all due in the next two years.

    Yeah, I know RFA’s are usually safe bets, but do you really think no one will launch an offer sheet at Saad? More like half the fucking league.

    • birdhead

      If they didn’t offersheet PK Subban, they’re not offersheeting anyone.

      • Bannerman

        An offer sheet for Subban would have drawn lots of attention and the Habs would most certainly have matched. An offer sheet for Saad would draw less attention and cost less money (though still probably more than Saad might normally get). It only takes one GM to cause the Hawks to make a tough decision. In light of the money that they’re going to have to give Kane and Toews, an offer sheet to Saad might actually work. The Hawks are one of the best teams in the West. Don’t you think other teams would welcome the chance to hamper their ability to fill out the bottom of their roster?

        • birdhead

          “Don’t you think other teams would welcome the chance to hamper their ability to fill out the bottom of their roster?”

          So why not offersheet Ben Smith? Kruger? etc? The Hawks are such a cap team that any little jiggle will be painful, and it won’t take much to offer those guys more than the Hawks will be able to.

          It’s certainly possible I guess, but I just don’t think it’s likely.

    • BrandonPirri

      Brian Burke was going to fight Kevin Lowe in a barn because of an offer sheet for Dustin Penner. It just seems to be one of those unwritten rules that it’s something you just don’t do.

    • Bob Lanz

      See 2010 hammer almost stolen by sharks which led to them stealing nemi

  • jordyhawk

    Handzus was a warrior for us. His legs may not have been there, but he always played with a big, brave heart. Kind of surprised he is talking about still playing although it won’t be with us. Thanks for bringing what you could and good luck to you.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks

    • TitanTransistor

      I don’t think there was any ever question of his heart or his character. I wish him the best.

  • Bob Lanz

    Oh snap. Look I have been harping on Q all year. I think he is arrogant, which isn’t in itself bad. But once you start thinking you are the only one with the right answers and you can do no wrong that’s were we have problems. I hope that Stan is allowed to do his job properly, even if that means finding a coaching staff that believes in the system. I respect Q but after this season I’m not sure I like him anymore… Ya I would have felt this way even if we won the cup, but I wouldn’t of had any grounds to bitch. Now I do.

    • Bannerman

      If you want to feel better about Q, consider the things he does well. Oduya wasn’t nearly as good before he got here, perhaps Q had something to do with that. Leddy has gotten better and better. Does Q keep him on a short leash? Sure. but Leddy is still young and learning and for some players it’s better for them to learn by putting them in a position to succeed.
      Q also gets praise from players for not wearing them out in practice. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand it benefits the vets and keeps them fresh despite logging some serious TOI on a compacted schedule. The price tag for that is it makes it harder for younger players to show what they can do in practice so they have to make the most out of whatever chances they get in games.

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    A few things…

    Boynton was acquired at the trade deadline in 2010, not during the summer of the Capocalypse. He was on the ice when Kane scored the OT goal against the Flyers. Something I still chuckle about because outside of the top 4 which included Hjammer in his 1st full season, the defense sucked ass through a silly straw.

    In 2011, Montador and Lepisto almost never sat for Scott per my recollection. Lepisto sat a few times, but not sure how this has anything to do with Stan and Q’s relationship? Montador and O’Donnell were usually the regular 3rd pairing for a good part of the season. And Monty skated 3x more with Scott than any other defender. He didn’t sit for Scott when healthy.

    When O’Donnell sat (he was 40), Lepisto and Scott did rotate a few times, but Scott only dressed for 29 games and many (most?) were at forward (5 mins TOI, 5 in box). Montador got brown-brained which opened the door for some time for Lepisto, but then Lepisto right away got the leg injury and was out the rest of the season too. Monty returned for one game and got concussed again, ending his NHL career. (Lepisto also never skated in the NHL again after that season, so maybe he just wasn’t very good and that’s why he sat?)

    Anywho, Oduya was acquired at the trade deadline and AHLer Olsen got the bulk of his playing time while Montador and Lepisto were out. Until Oduya, Q was basically trying to put a band-aid on a severed carotid artery. Before Monty went down, he got plenty of playing time.

    So to say that Monty and Lepisto were “both were discarded almost immediately upon arrival. It’s what forced Stan to then go out and get Johnny Oduya” is not what occurred imo.

    As I’ve stated many times, no I don’t think Stan and Q are drinking buddies, but the schism continually implied is probably way out of proportion too. Most of the players Stan acquires are indeed “Q guys”. And I’ve listed all of the transactions. Almost exclusively they are in sync.

    For example: Q doesn’t play Morin, so Stan sends him down. That’s not a conflict, that’s a mutual agreement. They gave a prospect a chance and agreed he wasn’t ready. Or Stan signing Bollig and Q using him despite what we think. They’re in agreement. Just like “Q guys” Mayers, Roz, Carcillo, O’Donnell, Brunette, Brookbank, Handzus, etc. And even Scott. And that’s not even mentioning the one’s never mentioned – the ones that work out quite well. So what I see, and imo what the facts suggest, is a coach and GM who, for the overwhelming majority of the time, walk in stride and are beyond any doubt on the same page.

    And really, what can a GM do when he’s been up against the cap since day one besides obtain hit or miss role players (which Q in turn uses in a hit or miss fashion) and bring up and test often green prospects? The other option is to trade star players. And then the Hawks blogosphere would really blow up.

  • Commit88

    Q’s decisions are mindnumbing at best and I don’t see how anyone can argue with it. Continuing to play guys like Bollig and Handzus definitely hurt the Hawks this postseason. I keep hoping that Bowman will design the roster exactly as he wants it as Sam says.

    I’d like:
    1. Handzus retires
    2. Bollig is traded
    3. Versteeg is traded (won’t happen)
    4. Roszival traded (probably won’t happen)
    5. Something done with Kruger. Since we can’t get a real 2nd line center, can we get a real 3rd line center? IE a Kruger that can score? (doubtful)
    6. Something done with the Oduya/Leddy defense decision

    If nothing else, get rid of Bollig and don’t resign Handzus. That is a hell of a start.