While he may not be the most popular person in Chicago lately, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman sat down with The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) in an in depth interview, going over the state of the franchise. While Bowman is aware of fans’ displeasure with the recent firing of coach Joel Quenneville as well as the state of the team’s salary cap over the past few years, Bowman said he must remain focused on the present.
“It definitely comes with the job,” Bowman said. “When you take this job, you understand that part of it is the fans have a passion for the team, which I wouldn’t want any other way. So, yeah, I don’t follow it in the sense that whatever people say, they’re going to say, and I need to do what I think is right because I believe in it. If I start getting into the weeds and trying to follow it, then it can just distract me from I have a job to do.”
Bowman did say that although many fans feel that he waited too long to trade the contract of Marian Hossa to Arizona this summer (the trade happened on July 12), but that was the first time that the Coyotes agreed to take on Hossa’s contract. Regardless, fans were upset that the team wasn’t able to use the extra $4.5MM in cap space created by that trade as most offseason work was already done by teams at that point. Bowman said he intends to be patient in using that cap space.
“The one thing you don’t want to do is just use it to just to get somebody who doesn’t really fit, and it’s going to preclude you from doing something else later,” Bowman said. “I’m not sitting on it to sit on it, but nothing has come along. Like there’s been potential trades, but the guy’s got two more years on his deal. Like he could help us in the short term, but we’re going to be able to do better than that. You just got to be patient. That’s the thought process.”
- Mike Heika of NHL.com writes that the Dallas Stars may be close to getting back starting goaltender Ben Bishop who has been out for almost a week with a lower-body injury. Heika writes that Anton Khudobin is expected to start Tuesday in Edmonton, followed likely be Landon Bow on Wednesday in Calgary. However, the scribe writes that Bishop might be ready for the team’s game in Vancouver on Saturday. Bishop is having a impressive season with a 2.33 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 15 games.
- Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun writes that while Patrik Laine knew he’d break out of his 19-game five-on-five scoreless slump earlier this season, it did weigh on him as it wore on. However, after scoring eight of his 11 goals this week on five-on-five, Laine feels more confident than ever, but credits his new linemates’ Bryan Little and Kyle Connor for much of his success. Much of Laine’s success has been with his recent chemistry with Little. The two struggled connecting for the past two years, especially last season. Those five-on-five struggles disappeared after the team added Paul Stastny at the trade deadline, but the Laine and Little finally seem to have found that connection this year.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tom Timmermann writes that St. Louis Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson has been working hard lately to avoid penalties. In his last 11 games, Edmondson has been called for a penalty in eight of those games and the 25-year-old leads the team with 29 penalty minutes. “I think I’m getting a little wild with my stick,” Edmundson said. “Sometimes the game gets the better half of me and I take out my frustrations. I’m looking to be smarter in that department. Sometimes I get worked up a bit and anger takes over. Coach (Berube) has talked to me. I just have to settle down a bit.”