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Trade deadline silence will haunt Blackhawks

by Quinn Magnuson

While detractors of Dale Tallon’s tenure as GM of the Hawks rue some of the moves that Tallon made, it will be the inactivity of Stan Bowman at the 2010 trade deadline that the Hawk nation will remember and Tallon may get away in relative obscurity.

Despite being touted as being one of the great young minds in NHL upper management, Bowman failed to make even one solid move that will help the Hawks during their run to the cup.

Yes, you don’t fix what isn’t broken; and yes you don’t want to mess with team chemistry, but every hockey fan knows that a team that is serious about an extended playoff run makes at least one serious move to help shore up weaker areas (Eg. Washington, Phoenix). And getting Nick Boynton is NOT a serious move.

Regrettably, the dead horse that was beaten was the goaltending situation. Hawks fans waited patiently for deadline day to come with hope in their minds that Bowman would deal for a veteran goaltender that has playoff experience. And all through that wait Hawk nation argued about Huet’s toughness and ability and whether Niemi was ready to be the #1 tender and, ultimately, who would be available. Would it be Tomas Vokoun, who has seen more rubber than Goodyear and would welcome a change; or maybe Dwayne Roloson who backstopped the Oilers in their Cup run in 2006 while facing 36 shots per game. Even the debacle that was the Hawks first game after the Olympic break (5-2 L to NYI) where Roloson outplayed Huet and Niemi should have sounded the final alarm to Bowman that a deal was important, no, IMPERATIVE, to the Hawks success in the Playoffs.

The Hawks have since won twice in convincing fashion over the hapless Oilers and the hated Canucks, but then the ugly two headed monster that is Huet and Niemi returned to haunt the Hawks in a disappointing 5-4 loss to a resurgent Redwings squad who may become the Hawks nemesis in the first round of the playoffs.

The sad thing about all of this is that we as Hawks fans can’t do a thing about it. There is no more March 3rd deadline day for Bowman to make a deal. All we can do is keep reminding ourselves that the Hawks, collectively, are the best defensive team in the league. And that we have depth in our forwards that other teams can only dream of; and that in the past other much maligned goaltenders have carried their teams to playoff greatness (see Osgood)

I hope for Stan Bowman’s sake that the Hawks don’t make an early exit from the playoffs or Muldoon will have some company to lengthen the curse. And as a Hawk fan that is something we just can’t endure any longer.


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