Stan Bowman Speaks: No Comment On Allegations, Toews Update, Keith Trade, Offseason Plans, More

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Stan Bowman Speaks: No Comment On Allegations, Toews Update, Keith Trade, Offseason Plans, More

Chicago Blackhawks

It was predictable and it provided no further information (but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to discuss!).

Chicago Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman addressed the media for the first time since multiple lawsuits and allegations of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault were levied against the organization. With an ongoing investigation, Bowman could not and would not say more than a prepared statement.

It was great to see those involved in the media call not let the one prepared statement be the only time that Bowman would need to address the elephant in the room. Bowman was also asked about the “independent review” that the Blackhawks are funding.

This is the busiest week of the offseason with the Seattle Expansion Draft, the NHL Entry Draft, and the beginning of Free Agency all happening in a few days of each other. Usually, the team’s sole focus would be on all of these upcoming events. But with the lawsuits and allegations going on, there is a dark cloud hanging over the Blackhawks organization. For Bowman though, it’s business as usual, apparently.

As for “business as usual,” it doesn’t exactly sound like Jonathan Toews, who announced earlier this summer that he is readying himself for the 2021-22 season, is at the point where you can for sure say he is going to take the first face-off of the season.

There is still about three months before the season begins and a full training camp ahead of the preseason to get all players, including Toews, up to speed for the 2021-22 season. So things can possibly progress to the point where Toews is physically healthy and ready to begin the season on time.

One player who also missed all of last season is Alex Nylander. Unlike Toews, we have had a timetable on his injury and recovery from knee surgery last winter. Bowman says that the 23-year-old will undoubtedly be ready to go once training camp begins.

Nylander is a restricted free agent this summer, but all signs point to him getting a new deal with the Blackhawks. It won’t break the bank, and that’s great for the Blackhawks since they are in a position this offseason that they have not been in for a long time. They actually have cap space to work with, rather than having to create it by making significant roster moves. As for the plans this offseason, Bowman says they have opportunities for movement.

Seth Jones and Dougie Hamilton are two major names that the Blackhawks have been tied to this offseason. Jones more than Hamilton, but both would fit the biggest need for the Blackhawks to address in the immediate future: their need for a No. 1 defenseman.

Jones would require a trade, a hefty trade, and the Blackhawks do not want to give up major assets like Kirby Dach or Alex DeBrincat in any potential trade package. It appears Stan Bowman has the same idea about the offseason plans and how they fit into the current rebuilding culture of the organization.

I’ve said it before, but the Blackhawks are not one single player away from getting back to the top of the NHL mountain. It appears the Blackhawks will not hedge their future for one impact player. Meaning if the price isn’t right, a Seth Jones trade may not be the route the Blackhawks go.

In yesterday’s Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, the Blackhawks lost pending free agent forward John Quenneville. That was just fine for Bowman.

The NHL roster freeze is going to be lifted momentarily, so we will find out what side deals, if any, the Blackhawks have in place with the Kraken. We’ll also see if Chicago has made any other roster movement prior to this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft.

Finally, Bowman touched on the Duncan Keith trade that sent the future Hall of Famer to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Caleb Jones and a draft pick.

Man, I’m still getting over losing Duncan Keith.

One reporter who is not part of the usual Blackhawks beat that was involved in the media availability was TSN’s Rick Westhead, who is one of the main reporters who has been following the story surrounding the Blackhawks lawsuits and allegations from a national standpoint.

Unfortunately, it appears his questions were not able to be addressed, not that Bowman would have answered them anyway.

The Blackhawks are in a decent position heading into the NHL Entry Draft this weekend and into Free Agency beginning on Wednesday. Outside of the lawsuits and allegations, Chicago seems to be setting themselves up for at least a decent level f success in the offseason, but again, that dark cloud is going to continue to cast a shadow over everything that Stan Bowman and the organization do this summer and until the investigations and legal processes are completed.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.