The extension frenzy for the Chicago Blackhawks continued early on Wednesday, as a new deal for a member of their front office was announced. General manager Stan Bowman received a two-year extension, which will keep him in the Windy City until at least after the 2017-18 season.
Bowman joins three key pieces of the Hawks that he has already worked to extend this summer. Head coach Joel Quenneville received an extension earlier in the offseason, while Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson also received long-term deals, each within the last couple of weeks.
There’s no doubt that Bowman has earned his place in this organization, and has proven to be among the very best general managers in the game, when it comes to evaluating talent. There were questions about whether or not he could successfully replicate the success in building a roster that Dale Tallon had, as that first Stanley Cup team wasn’t a Bowman built product.
That was Tallon’s team, and those were Tallon’s contracts that won it back in 2009-10. When Bowman took over that season, he spent most of his first offseason dismantling the team that had just taken home the team’s first title in 61 years because of salary cap concerns. But it didn’t take long for him to build them back up.
Just two seasons later, the Blackhawks are once again at the top of the league, taking home their fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history. This time, Bowman can take the credit. He’s managed to lock up every member of the core of this club for the next several years, while also assuring the world that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be Hawks for life.
Not only that, he’s helped to build up a farm system that is among the league’s deepest. Part of the reason they were so successful was the fact that they had youth ready to step in and provide key minutes in certain situations. They have that once again. They may not have the impact prospects, but they have as deep a system as there is in the game.
Stan Bowman is one of the best GMs, not only in hockey, but in all of sports. He’s proven that. He’s turned the Blackhawks into a perennial powerhouse. An extension for him was an absolute no brainer for the organization, as he’s proven to be the man for the job.