Bowman, Hawks Look to Move On After Parise/Suter Rejection

Despite receiving the cold shoulder from top NHL free agents forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, like several other rejected general managers, is optimistic he can continue to improve the Chicago Blackhawks in other ways. 

Although this summer's pool of free agent talent is somewhat shallow by typical standards, there are still quite a few players available, whether as free agents or on the trading block, who could potentially fill a few of Chicago's needs within the lineup. 

With the signing of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in Minnesota and defenseman Matt Carle, many teams have been forced to move on to their "Plan B." For teams seeking offense, this plan consists of signing free agents Shane Doan (should be choose to depart Phoenix) or Alex Semin (who is not expected to get an offer from his former club, the Washington Capitals). 

Shane Doan would be a tremendous addition to virtually any club seeking more offense, grit, a strong work ethic and consistent dedication to winning. The biggest complication that comes into play is many believe Doan is not interested in leaving Phoenix and as everyone played witness to how significant location had an impact on the new contracts of Parise and Suter, the biggest financial offer may not make the difference in prying Doan away from the Coyotes. 

Semin, who possesses one of the deadliest shots in the game, could certainly provide a spark of offense to the Blackhawks, should Bowman decide to take a bit of a gamble on the streaky winger. Semin is not known for his work ethic and would still carry a significant cap hit despite his slight decline in production from this past season. 

Should additional moves not work out via free agency, Bowman could opt to put together tempting trade packages for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan or Columbus' Rick Nash, two talented forwards their respective GMs have made it widely known are very much available, though the asking price for both players is considered outrageously high by some. 

Though it's true that the Blackhawks have more of a need at defense and possibly goaltending, GMs agree that if you have an opportunity to acquire top talent regardless of whether there is a need for it, one should take advantage of said opportunity. 

Now that Parise and Suter have declared where they will play next year, NHL teams have a better idea what assets are still available and attempt to improve their respective clubs in any way they can.

So as they say, "the dominoes will start to fall." 

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Andrew Schopp's picture

They really ought to do something about their goal tending situation first and foremost, the FA market is slim pickings in that department though.

Matt Cefalu's picture

It's a tough call. If the Hawks can get the Crawford from the 2010-2011 season, then I think they're in great shape. But last season's Crawford was simply not good enough.

Maggie Avila's picture

Matt - you are right on the money with Crawford. Enjoyed your blog. I think Semin is a risk but very talented and could do well surrounded by other talent but Q would need to sit on him. I just hope that whatever Stan does it actually works this time since for the most part last years FA's didn't.