So apparently, not all Canadians know something about hockey. There's this guy named Tim Wharnsby who writes for CBC Sports in Canada...and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't know a sneeze from a wet fart when it comes to how to manage a team. You want proof? He wrote an article called "Stan Bowman has red-hot summer"...as in red-hot in a good way. Thanks to Twig for sending me an e-mail pointing it out.
Stan Bowman still has salary cap problems to solve. But the Chicago Blackhawks 37-year-old general manager has enjoyed as good an off-season as any of his counterparts in working out a trying state of affairs.
Seriously, bro? It only goes down from this little piece of festering ignorance about the way a team should be managed after winning the Stanley Cup. But let's just try and get through this together, shall we? OK, Tim...exactly HOW has Stan Bowman been doing a good job? Please...do tell.
There will be a $5.625-million savings when the Blackhawks bury backup goalie Cristobal Huet in the minors or find a spot for him in Europe, but Bowman still has to sign eight or nine players to fill out the rest of the roster spots, including goalie Antti Niemi, who could end up taking his team to salary arbitration.
He seems to have taken the Huet move rather lightly. Where to start....oh how about the FACT that Chicago will be paying Huet $5.625 million (that's more than Hossa, remember) next season. No one is going to take that contract. Burying him in the minors provides Cap relief...but the idiot makes it sound like they just wash their hands of him entirely. Hey Wirtz...you cool with paying an AHL-er more than your touted #81? Go soak your head if you are. And sending him to Europe is NOT an option...it just isn't.
With Niemi and others to sign, the speculation has been that defenceman Brian Campbell and his hefty $7.143-million paycheque or Patrick Sharp ($3.9-million) will be moved for further salary cap relief.
Just that easy, is it? Move a $7.143 million 3rd or 4th defenseman? Good luck with that. Why don't you see if you can get a package deal with Huet and Campbell over in Europe? Maybe bury Campbell in the minors? Maybe if you put your fingers in your ears, close your eyes, and say a prayer to Gil Stein all of this will go away. Oh and please move Patrick Sharp...I dare you.
Another option for Bowman would be, after Niemi, to sign seven or eight players at or near the minimum the minimum salary of $500,000 and hope a cheaper player can beat out Marty Reasoner ($1.15-million) for a spot on the fourth line. But this is best-case scenario for Bowman.
So your best case scenario is finding a bottom-dwelling league minimum scrub to beat out the player you traded Big Buff for so that you have to pay HIM not to play as well? The stupidity knows no bounds with this guy. Good luck winning a Cup with seven or eight league minimum guys on the roster.
For example, Jack Skille, 23, is a young forward expected to make the Blackhawks this season. The 2005 first-round pick (seventh overall) has scored five goals in 30 games over parts of the past three seasons for Chicago. But his NHL salary was $1.275-million. Can Bowman get him signed in the $700,000 neighbourhood?
Well that's easy....NO.
Still, Bowman has done a magnificent job in moving out Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser and Adam Burish, who signed with the Dallas Stars. Unrestricted free agent John Madden also will not be back.
Oh an absolutely marvelous job shipping out almost ALL of your depth scoring from all of your players who WEREN'T being paid way too much. Pure genius.
In return, the Blackhawks stockpiled draft picks and added plenty of prospects, including Jeremy Morin, who in his rookie season with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL scored 47 times in 58 games last year.
He scored in the OHL? He MUST be ready for prime time! "Will you accept a $113,000 salary? Oh wait...we can't even afford that."
The Blackhawks also gained a first-round pick, two second-round choices, a sixth-round selection, Viktor Stalberg, Reasoner, minor-leauge forward Joey Crabb, prospects Chris DiDomenico, Philippe Paradis and Ivan Vishnevskiy in their summertime transactions.
And this helps them this year... how?
The Blackhawks still appear to be the team to beat in the West.
Check out his lines for next year:
Troy Brouwer-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane
Viktor Stalberg-Patrick Sharp-Marian Hossa
Bryan Bicknell-Dave Bolland-Tomas Kopecky
Jake Dowell-Marty Reasoner-Jack Skille
Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Niklas Hjalmarsson
John Scott-Jordan Hendry
Antti Niemi-Corey Crawford
Oh, I'm sorry...did you just include Brian Campbell AND Patrick Sharp on that roster? How very interesting. Let me head over to CapGeek and see how that works out...
I don't know who the hell Bryan Bicknell is...but he if he makes $500K next season, Niemi gets signed for $2 million per, and Hendry/Skille take zero raise in pay (combined) that roster above will actually have Chicago under the Cap by $13,410.00.
Anyone gets hurt...even a superstar like John Scott or Jake Dowell - and you're playing with a short bench...all season.
So look at that roster and tell me that's the team to beat in the West. Try and say it out loud with a straight face.
"Stan Bowman has red-hot summer" written by Tim Wharnsby has to be the biggest piece of trash writing I've read all summer and proof that just because you work for a sports network, it doesn't mean you know JACK about sports.
I'm sorry Chicago...but the sky IS falling...no matter what hack writers like Tim Wharnsby try and comfort you with.
You made a mockery of the salary cap, and now you are feeling the sting of it's vengeful sword.
Deal with it.