The Chicago Blackhawks could have major changes coming this offseason. General manager Stan Bowman said as much during his first comments to reporters after a first-round sweep against the Nashville Predators ended the Blackhawks’ season prematurely.
Bowman told reporters, including the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus, that this season was “a complete failure” despite finishing first in the Western Conference with 50 wins. There won’t be any moves made involving head coach Joel Quenneville, but it sounds like the Blackhawks are considering making other changes.
“I’m completely disappointed,” Bowman said in a prepared statement. “It’s unacceptable to be where we are today. I’m frustrated, I’m angry. This was a tough, tough loss for us all to take. Standing here April 22 is not the way we expected our season to end. And it’s a complete failure when you measure it against the expectations that we have of ourselves.
“It’s time right now to take a look in the mirror and face facts. And when you do that, you look at accountability, and that starts with me. I need to be better, there’s no doubt about it. I’m going to take a look at all things. I can promise you I will be better ... Joel and I are going to work together to make sure this never happens again.”
One of the more interesting comments Bowman made occurred when he was asked about whether he thought the team’s core players had become complacent in their winning ways. The general manager did defend his stars’ effort, but he followed it up by saying he’d get rid of anyone who he felt wasn’t hungry enough.
“I don’t know if I buy that,” Bowman said. “And if that’s the case, then we’re going to get rid of those people. Because the only reason we come here is to win the Cup.”
None of this should be too surprising to hear from the top decision-maker in the Blackhawks’ hockey operation after such a brutal ouster from the postseason. But if you were wondering whether the team would take any of this lightly, we’re getting signs that this might not be business as usual this summer.