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David, feel free to disagree all you want with the post - as I clearly do, judging by my post a couple of days ago. However, if you're going to comment and start calling people names, do your research. It doesn't surprise me someone dumb enough to publicly use the term 'dipweed' doesn't know that Campoli's agent, the Blackhawks, the NHL and the NHLPA agree to expedite the hearing to allow Campoli to become an unrestricted free agent sooner than Aug. 3 to give him more time to sign with another team. It already happened, it was for $2.5 million, and the Blackhawks officially walked away. Dipweed.
as far as the center position goes, you mentioned them wanting to put sharp there, but it also looks like they may be trying to promote from within by means of marcu kruger. http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=1352
i love how Bartl had the exact opposite view point on bowman a few days earlier... i'm gonna go ahead and side with jeff on this one.
Thoughtful article and thoughtful comments here. This is my biggest pet peeve with people that comment anonymously. Everyone's opinion has the same worth. FYI: Mark Bell attempting NHL comeback with Ducks. Maybe Kyle Calder and Tyler Arnason will join him? Discuss.
And another thing Tim, regarding your concluding comments: "You must pay market price for players, that’s an immutable fact of sports-business." Yes but there's a difference between market value and team value. A player may be valued at X on the open market, but that doesn't mean thats his value to a team and their cap structure (ie. paying James Wisnewski $5.5 million doesn't fit most teams, but to the Blue Jackets, he's their No. 1 d-man, so they're paying him like their No. 1) So I would change it to: "You must pay market price for players, but each player will have intristic and relative value to each team according to that player's expected role and that team's given cap structure" I think Bowman, more than a lot of other GM's, understands this principle. "You must put experienced, position-dedicated players on the ice, or you’re going to miss the playoffs." The most successful team's (and I mean cup winners or finalists) over the past several years have had perfect mixes of skill, speed, size, toughness, character, leadership and experience. So I would change it to: "You must put players with various tools and assets, tangible and intangible, on the ice or you won't be a successful team" Last season it was clear the Blackhawks were strong in some departments and weak in others. Bowman has strengthened the categories they were weak in and brought in a strong blend of players with different weapons at their disposal.
Tim, there are so many flaws here I don't know where to begin. "...foolishly squandering draft picks and free agent talent in favor of aging veterans and eventually putting a team on the ice more suited to WWF cage matches than the speed and skill game the league was moving towards." In this tiny excerpt I can find at least 4 massive flaws: 1. The Blackhawks have built and maintained one of the strongest systems of prospects in the NHL. In the last two drafts alone we've drafted 21 players. In the 2011 draft we had more picks than any other contendeing team. And they have all 7 of their picks in the next two drafts. I don't see where this "foolishly squandering draft picks" comes into fruition. 2. When it comes to squandering free agent talent, I'll ask you: how many elite players were available in this year's free agent class? And how many of them wouldn't have cost the 'Hawks the proverbial farm? Do you want to pay Tim Connolly close to $5 million, cause I don't. Do you want to spend all our cap space on Brad Richards to play a second line role and have absolutely no depth at all, cause that's not how you win championships. 3. I think its pretty clear from the results of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals that the league, at least in the playoffs, is moving towards a game that favors teams with considerable toughness and grit. We witnessed a skill and speed team like Vancouver, who was built in a similar fashion to the 'Hawks, get absolutely beaten, brusied and bullied to the point that they couldn't even play anymore. And I'm guessing Stan was watching and thinking to himself "hey, we need to toughen up if we want to win another cup." 4. I think you're missing what Bowman is doing, his formula, for lack of a better word. The 'Hawks' core is in place, and its one of the best in the NHL, without a doubt. And it doesn't need changes. It doesn't need a Richards or a Stamkos or a Weber or Doughty. We have our elite, well-paid players. We need the cheap but effective role players that everyone bragged about when we won the cup. Bowman's formula is to cycle these kinds of players on and off the roster with one-year deals, which maintains flexibility, and hope that they compliment the core and provide them the tools to maximize their effectiveness. Meanwhile, this provides time for a our prospects to mature and develop and eventually take permanent roles on the team. Its a cyclical process. This is how you sustain a contending team. Don't believe me, ask Detroit, they've been doing it probably since before we were born. With regards to Campoli, there's a whole dynamic you neglected to mention: a players value to the team. I thought Neal Schmidt laid it out quite nicely on BlackhawkUp. The Blackhawks wanted Campoli for a third pairing role. Campoli wanted second pairing money. You don't pay a third pairing defenseman second pairing money, regardless of what his market value is. That's not paying market value, that's overpaying, because his role on your team is only valued at X, thus paying him Z would be overpaying him according to your cap structure (a term Bowman used more than once when describing negotiations with Campoli). To other teams, Campoli may be valued as a second pairing guy and paid accordingly, but he wasn't with the Blackhawks. As far as trading him goes, it was going to be near impossible to trade him off the bat. It was clear that negotiations were going sour and what GM is going to trade for a player who files for arbitration? Maybe you would Tim, but I think most GM's around the league know that they shouldn't pay for something they can get for free. And really, what could the Blackhawks get for Campoli? A 6th or 7th round pick? I won't lose sleep over that.
"Once the arbitration award of $2.5 million was announced on Wednesday (a decisive win for Campoli)" You are aware arbitration is non-binding in the NHL right? This was a decisive win for exactly nobody. Ask Niemi about his arbitration "win" with the Hawks. He signed for 750,000 less. Secondly, you really have no idea how hard Stan worked to trade Campoli. Your own comments actually back up the thought he exhausted all possible trade options before declaring negotiations were over. No one, and I mean no one smart enough to tie his own shoes announces this without trying to move him.
For all the hate Campoli got after game 7 I never would have guessed so many people wanted him to stick around. It sucks that he's gone, for sure. But take a larger view of what's going on here - "We now have eight players on one-year deals, or in the last year of a multiple-year deal." You said it yourself. All of the one year deals means that we're looking at temporary solutions here- it means Stan has a plan that he's not quite ready to pull the trigger on just yet. The way I see it, we have a LOT of promising prospects in the system, and I think it's a system that turns out great players. I think all these signings just indicate that Stan has faith in our up-and-comers. I think Stan went into Campoli's negotiations wanting to keep him around- I feel like Campoli is much better suited to fill Soupy's absence than Leddy right now, and Campoli seems like he fits really well on our blue line. What Stan probably doesn't want right now is another blue liner with a long contract, or a contract that's pricey for what you get. Campoli looked really promising, but that doesn't necessarily mean things will work out. I think our new boy Olesz is a perfect example of that. I think Olsen and Lalonde could be the real deal given time, and I imagine that's probably what Stan is thinking as well.
Are you just trolling, or are you really just this stupid? You lament about how, in the dark days, the 'Hawks were "foolishly squandering draft picks and free agent talent in favor of aging veterans" yet you're in favor of doing just that and/or gutting the very deep prospect system for a 2nd line center instead of either going with Kruger (whom the organization is very high on, for good reason) or if he doesn't pan out keeping Sharp at 2C where he was when we won a Cup. You claim that the Lepisto signing / Campoli release was handled wrong because he TOTALLY would have still been available after the arbitration hearing which is just idiotic especially from someone not even remotely in the know. The 'Hawks aren't paying market price for players? Then why are Toews and Kane making over $6 million, Kieth and Seabrook making over $5 million, Sharpie almost certainly guaranteed to get a raise to the $5.5M range, Bolland making over $3 million, and Frolik making $2.33 million? There is not a single argument that you make that holds ANY water whatsoever.