Dear Stan Bowman

Hey dude. Maybe I shouldn't call you dude. Either way, it's been a while since we talked. You've had to work this summer, I have not, some guys get all the breaks. Anyway, I figured it was time to chime back in.

Generally, I've fired these off when fans and/or myself are just angry about something. But that's not fair. You should know when we think you've done well, too. Interest of fairness and all that. And this is one of those times.

It started iffy though, didn't it? I was pretty fuming about your trade of Brian Campbell, and I made no secret of that. But I understood, and held out final judgement to see what you did with the newfound cap space. You seem to have an awful lot invested in Nick Leddy, maybe you know more than I do, I don't know, we'll see. I was also a little flummoxed at your indifference to Troy Brouwer, which was a player and role you didn't have a replacement for. And he didn't sign for that much, really. But hey, a bonus first-round pick for a player that in all honesty flattered to deceive a lot of his time here. Not the end of the world. And we'll see what Phillip Danault becomes.

But as the summer rolled on, you got better. You needed a defenseman, and you didn't wait for July 1. You went out and got the one that fitted what you needed perfectly in Steve Montador. Size, snarl, solidity, he brings it all. Yeah, he may be getting overpaid just slightly, but this is what happens in the unrestricted market. No complaints there.

July 1 was another subtle work of intelligence. You didn't commit to anyone for more than one year. Low-risk, and possibly high-reward with Andrew Brunette. Hands around the net that Brouwer didn't always have, Buff only promised briefly, and no one else has. He'll flourish here. Carcillo is a risk, but he's not paid much and is only on a one year deal. And he gives you something you didn't have, energy on the 4th line. We'll see, could be worth it, could not be. But I'm willing to see. Sean O'Donnell was also what you were screaming out for, another veteran presence and voice. Well done there.

But you saved the best for last week. You brought Michael Frolik back at a sensibly, though tad high number. He's pretty central to what you want to do. And then the big pimp hand to Chris Campoli. This Sami Lepisto may be your shrewdest move. A bottom-feeding contract for a blueliner who was sneaky good two years ago in Phoenix and will get a lot more freedom here.

You've got your goaltender locked in, and a solid blue line with more depth than you actually had in 09-10. Sure, there's a couple questions on the forward corps, but ones that can be answered internally. And if they can't, you've got midseason flexibility to answer them externally. You haven't had that before. I'm impressed.

So well done Stan, I think for the most part you've made Hawks fans very excited about the upcoming season. That's all you can do in the summer. Anyway, take a break. You've earned it. We'll talk again in the fall.