After watching the Stan Bowman introductory press conference this afternoon, I became increasingly worried about the state of the Blackhawks. Most of this worry is the result of the answers McDonough gave to two very important questions:
1. McDonough said Tallon most likely would not have been let go had the RFA debacle not happend. Keep in mind he said this while sitting next to a guy he just promoted whose sole job was to handle all CBA-related issues. Obviously there's something else that happened between Tallon and McD, but blaming it on the qualifying offer mistake was the easy way out. That much was evident when McD later in the conference McD said he was ultimately responsible for what happened.
2. McDonough admitted he doesn't know hockey all that well and gets most of his advice from Scotty Bowman. This is a MAJOR issue, folks. I realize there are worse people out there to get advice from (*cough PierreMcGuire *cough) than Scotty Bowman, but Scotty has a huge conflict of interest in the GM position since his son is, sorry was, the assistant GM. McDonough said at no point did he and Scotty talk about hiring Stan to replace Tallon, but that doesn't mean Scotty never said, "You should get rid of Tallon." I would rather McDonough take advice from someone that has experience in the front office. Scotty has only held coaching and scouting jobs. Firing a GM isn't something you do after a quick chat with your personal hockey consultant. .
I realize McDonough has done a great deal to better the organization in a short time. He has made it a point to make the team accessible to the fans and has treated season ticket holders like gold. I'm very pleased with the way he's handled the Blackhawks from a marketing perspective. But I'm extremely leary of having someone as inexperienced with hockey and salary caps as McDonough as the Blackhawks president. If you're committed to winning a Stanley Cup, you have to keep the turmoil to a minimum and learn how to manage salaries within a budget.