Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been busy this offseason making trades and signing European free agents, but he might be signing a new deal of his own, reports Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
In his “31 Thoughts” column, Friedman writes that there’s a rumor about Bowman receiving a contract extension but when asked about it this past weekend at the NHL draft the Chicago GM “wouldn’t confirm or deny” it.
Bowman has two seasons remaining on his current contract, which he signed in January 2016. The 45-year-old is in his 18th year as a member of the franchise and will hit 10 years as the team’s GM on July 14.
Bowman has won three Stanley Cup championships during his tenure, but the team hasn’t won a playoff series since winning the Cup in 2015 and haven’t made the playoffs in the last two years. He’s received plenty of criticism in that time for trading away fan favorites Teuvo Teravainen and Artemi Panarin, overpaying veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook and not pursuing top free agents this past summer despite having salary cap space.
With the roster Bowman constructed, head coach Joel Quenneville had the team hovering around .500 before he was fired in November. Bowman promoted AHL coach Jeremy Colliton to the post and the team struggled at first but eventually turned in around thanks in part to some trades. Bowman acquired Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome from Arizona in exchange for Nick Schmaltz then traded away defensemen Brandon Manning and Jan Rutta for top-line forward Drake Caggiula and defenseman Slater Koekkoek, respectively. Those trades gave the team a boost in the standings and helped them flirt with playoff contention for a brief moment before ultimately missing the playoffs.
If the rumor comes to fruition, look for Bowman to sign his new deal on the 10-year anniversary of him being named GM come July 14.
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