It seems as if Stan Bowman can’t wait for Teuvo Teravainen to come over. The Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2012 first-round draft pick has been making waves in his homeland of Finland and generating buzz in North America. He captained Finland to a World Juniors championship where he scored a sick goal against Canada. To put it simply, he has general manager Bowman practically salivating at the possibility of his early arrival, possibly as early as April. Bowman said on Saturday before the Hawks’ Stadium Series game there was a chance at this.
“When their season finishes, he’s in the mix to play on the [Finland] national team for the world championships,” Bowman told the media. “But I guess, hypothetically, if he’s free and clear to come over, we’d certainly bring him over.” Given the season Teravainen is having for his club team Helsinki Jokerit, scoring eight goals and having 33 assists for a total of 41 points, you can forgive Bowman for being hopeful.
Of course, this is entirely speculative and hypothetical. Teravainen, as mentioned earlier, is currently playing with his club team. Here’s the thing, the Finnish Liiga season starts in September and ends in April. That’s the window Bowman hopes Teravainen might come over to North America. However, he’s acknowledged that Teravainen might — might –play for the Finland team in the World Championships, throwing the wrench in Bowman’s hopes.
However, if he does come over, this raises some questions. With the Hawks all but guaranteed a playoff spot, this means that Teravainen will be thrown into the fire, unless head coach Joel Quenneville lightens his workload. Again, remember that this is pure speculation. If Teravainen does come over and he does get Quenneville’s okay, he’ll likely be given a spot on the third or fourth line. However, with the Hawks already so deep and talented as they currently are, his options are slim. And let’s not get started on the guys waiting in the wings with the Rockford IceHogs.
On the other hand, given that Brandon Saad was a rookie last year, there’s precedent for Teravainen to assert a roster spot. Given that Michal Handzus might be on his last legs and Peter Regin is a little iffy, Quenneville might be like a little kid who can’t wait to play with his ultra-cool, brand-new toy.
Right now, things are not set in stone. There is a chance Teravainen could come over, but it’s pure speculation. And even if he does, there’s a slight problem regarding the lineup. Bowman said that if there’s the possibility Teravainen can come over, they won’t hesitate to do so. Bowman won’t rush the youngster, but it’s obvious he really wants him to play. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see.