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The Entire Blackhawks Organization Is Stuck, Unprepared, And They Don't Know What To Do

This is what we call "bullshit" by Stan Bowman. He's great at keeping his job and not much else. In reality though, I think he and the entire Blackhawks management structure are COMPLETELY unprepared as usual. They can say this is a rebuild, but that is a lie just like it has been every other time they've said it since 2017. I hate saying the same things over and over, but they do so I have to. This is NOT a rebuilt. You don't add Jones, Fleury, Johnson, and McCabe when you're rebuilding. Those are all expensive, veteran players. They're not building blocks for some glorious future that Stan has sold to the Wirtz family. They're pieces for right fucking now while you have Toews and Kane still as competent pieces, while Dach is on his ELC, while Kubalik is still on a cheap deal. You don't. And if this is "all part of the plan" well that doesn't really inspire confidence either. Your "plan" fucking sucks, man. If this is the plan, get a new plan. 

The problem is that Bowman doesn't have a plan. It's been bad for a LONG time. There are red flags everywhere. The fact that not a single first round pick under Stan Bowman has been able to develop to a point where the Blackhawks were able to give them a second contract. How about how the Blackhawks haven't drafted and developed a defenseman that can play in the NHL since Nik Hjalmarsson. How about how you can say the same thing about the goaltending? How about how he traded a guy who plays good minutes for Buffalo (Jokiharju has been hurt, but he's a nice player) for guy who couldn't make an NHL roster out of camp even the Blackhawks kept 15 forwards on the team. Danault traded for nothing. Saad for nothing. Forsling for nothing. Let Duclair walk for nothing. Teravainen as a fucking throw in because he had to get rid of another bad contract. It's been a fucking DECADE of bad moves and bad contracts. Stan Bowman somehow convinced Rocky and Danny that all these red flags and failures were someone else's fault. He probably flashes those Cup rings that were gifted to him by Mike Smith, Dale Tallon, and Joel Quenneville and the with his index finger points at the next guy to blame. 

Danny Wirtz: "Why are season tickets and tv ratings way down?"

Stan Bowman: "IT'S PAT FOLEY'S FAULT! IT'S PETE HASSEN'S FAULT! IT'S NORM MacIVER'S FAULT! And Edzo too!"

Those guys get fired and pushed aside and the Blackhawks start 0-5. They haven't had a lead for a single second all year. 300 minutes and 57 seconds without once holding a lead. It is truly remarkable. 

And what happens is that the Blackhawks are truly stuck. There's a reason why Stan can't fire Jeremy. He's tied his reputation to this move. He likes having yes-men around him. That is why any dissenting voices in hockey ops have been moved out, but don't worry they hired the guy who built the calculator on capfriendly! That should fix this! 

Ultimately this is what was bound to happen when your entire leadership is devoid of hockey guys. Stan played JV high school hockey in Buffalo 40 years ago. Al MacIsaac is a ECHL all-star who despite being in the top 3 of hockey ops for a decade he was passed over for other GM jobs by a handful of former Blackhawks execs. Danny Wirtz and Jamie are new and they don't have 30 years of trusted relationships in the game. The one guy they do have close who wants to do the job and would make a good interim is Edzo, but Stan poured poison in Danny's ear when they were in Edmonton (allegedly even though many MANY people have relayed that story to me). It's been long said that Edzo and Stan don't get along. I've been told by many people that Stan and Joel hate each other. 

Stan just doesn't know what he's doing. The moment that it was crystalized for me was in the interview we did a year ago. No foresight. No ability to evaluate his own roster or other rosters. 

That man looked me dead in the eyes and said that a team that finished 12th had a chance to win the Stanley Cup. He then tried to tell me that I didn't think the Hawks could've beaten Edmonton. No, dude. I bet the Blackhawks series price against Edmonton because anyone with any eyes could tell you that the Hawks with Crawford would have an edge in goal, that Edmonton was COMPLETELY reliant on the PP for offense and refs swallow their whistles in the playoffs AND...powerplays are so much about rhythm and confidence and the idea that the Oilers even with McDavid would be clicking on all cylinders in the bubble after 6 months off was laughable. He basically said that he thought the Oilers and the Vegas Golden Knights were equals in 2020. That is a MAJOR problem. 

There only two possible explanations. 1) He really does think that the 2020 Bubble Hawks had a chance to go on a deep run. Obviously that is a major problem. 2) He knew he had to sell Danny in the bubble to keep his job and a good week against Edmonton along with morning coffee dates allowed him the ability to do that. Neither are good. Both should be fireable offenses. That is why I went so hard on the Crawford issue. I wanted to highlight that you're either rebuilding or you're not. You're either able to evaluate hockey and formulate plans for the future, or you're not. All he was trying to do is preserve his job. Mission accomplished. 

Now we are stuck because the same guy who got us here would be the same guy to pick the next coach. To continue a rebuild that has been many time botched, scrapped, and restated. ALLLL of the evidence is there. It's right there. It's not working. They can put Emily Kaplan on ESPN talking about people close to the organization saying this is all part of the plan. It's not. They didn't plan to start 0-5. They didn't plan to not win a playoff series for 7 years. They haven't even been close to a playoff team since they fired Joel. Meanwhile, that guy has taken the Florida Panthers...a team with ALL young players and has them looking like a champion. Every move this guy makes ends in the same result. 

Fire Stan and his entire staff. Fire Jeremy and his entire staff. Bring in an interim guy to steady the ship and give yourself and your headhunters a year to find the next GM and maybe the next coach while fresh eyes and a fresh voice try to salvage the 2021-21 season. Enough already.