There are more reasons to fire Stan Bowman than ever. More consequential reasons that just being bad at his job, but I think this is something that needs to be talked about forever until he gets fired. The key pieces in a trade for one of the best players in the NHL are going to all be gone.
Panarin for Saad
Saad for Zadorov
Zadorov for free
Every step of this sequence gets worse. A top 10 player for a guy who is a middle six type of a good team. Stan can cry until the cows come home about the financials of Panarin's projected NEXT deal, but trading him for a guy who is worse and makes the same AAV for two years was always stupid. He could've accelerated the rebuild by trading him. It is something that even I thought was reasonable at the time following the sweep by the Preds
I wanted a young defenseman who was NHL ready in addition to picks/prospects. The guy I mentioned specifically after looking through tweets was Brandon Carlo who just re-signed with the Bruins. I also wrote this on the blog after the trade happened
I have advocated for a Panarin trade for months because it seemed like the Blackhawks didn't really have any other options. Trading Panarin isn't a good option either, but it's something that could work if the Hawks executed properly. I would've guessed that it would be more for Panarin though. Not a one for one, which is basically what this trade is. The money being equal seems crazy to me too. We'll see how it plays out. I love Brandon Saad, but Panarin is clearly the best player in this trade.
That didn't happen. Bowman traded for Saad and when the team SUCKED after losing two of their better players on the same day, Bowman pinned it on the coach. That coach moved on to Florida, turned them into a playoff team quickly, as the Hawks released a memo talking about the future, telling everyone it's not their fault, getting promotions and raises and running off anyone who disagrees with them.
Part of me hopes this is just Norm MacIver's revenge. No doubt in my mind that Seattle can draft 6-8 defensemen with better value than Zadorov. Could they draft a guy just for spite and then either trade his RFA rights or wait for the comp pick when he signs elsewhere? Probably. That's something I would do if I had a pick to burn. Fuck over my enemies. Would it be enough just watch Stan squirm when asked about losing Zadorov for nothing? For me it would.
Not knowing how to evaluate talent has been a problem for the Blackhawks for a long time now. That's how you end up on the wrong side of trades for the better part of a decade. That's how you take a guy with value for one moment of his life, like Gustafsson, and fail to trade him when he has actual value coming off a productive season and then hold him until that value is a 2020 3rd round pick. It's astounding how someone can be so bad for so long and keep his job when the evidence is OVERWHELMINGLY against him. That might be Bowman's best trait. Convincing people in charge that he is competent.
So, good bye to Nikita. It's not your fault that you're forever tied to Artemi Panarin. Best of luck bashing guys wherever you end up.