The interesting things for today: The Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are prepared to announce the signing of the winningest coach in NHL history as their new senior hockey advisor, Scotty Bowman, according to Sportsnet.
It's more like: after you beat 'em, join 'em.
Bowman has been working with the Red Wings for a long, long while - sharing in their success since the mid-90s, but is ready to move on, I guess. This will be the second time that the Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup and then lost Bowman in an official capacity - the first time he retired as head coach, and this time he's quit being their consultant. It kind of puts a twist on the old adage, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'
OR, perhaps it's more like, if you can't beat 'em (Chicago has been a bottom dweller ever since Detroit decided to become a perennial President's Trophy candidate), then scoop up the one guy who knows the organization inside and out, and then use him to strategize how to beat them. Perhaps that's more along the lines of how to challenge for the division title?
For Chicago, this is a very interesting development, as they continue to bring in exciting new names and faces to the organization. As referenced earlier, the Blackhawks have decided to make a bunch of big new changes, and it will definitely translate into a different looking, and different feeling, team.
July 1: BLACKHAWKS LOCK UP CAMPBELL WITH 8-YEAR, $56.8M DEAL
July 1: BLACKHAWKS SIGN NETMINDER HUET
July 7: REPORT: NHL CLOSER TO PLAYING OUTDOOR GAME IN CHICAGO
This means they're intending on playing in Wrigley Field! Pretty neat.
July 18: BLACKHAWKS NAME TOEWS CAPTAIN FOR UPCOMING SEASON
Now Bowman joins the team. What instigated this push for a bonafide resurrection? Simple, their crap owner Bill Wirtz died.
With the passing of longtime owner Bill Wirtz, there is a change afoot in Chicago, one that will have these young and exciting Blackhawks on local television and the organization has, through years of struggling, built up the kind of talent base that should make the Blackhawks an annual playoff team. The youth movement in Chicago begins with Rookie of the Year candidates Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
There are plenty more fresh faces growing alongside them. Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Cam Barker and James Wisniewski are all under 25 and set to play significant roles as the Blackhawks aim for a better tomorrow.
So you take all of that action, and put it with Patrick Kane's 21 goals, Patrick Sharpe's 36, Robert Lang's 21, Jonathan Toeves 24, and the 19 that their rookie defenseman Dustin Byfuglien scored (in only 67 games), you've got a pile of talented youngsters that are already demonstrating intense scoring ability.
With Huet stopping the puck and the defense of Brent Seabrook (+13), Duncan Keith (+30!) and Brent Sopel (+9) being gilded by Brian Campbell (+8 and 62 points!) these guys look like they will score more and crack down on defense more - that sort of thing translates into winning a lot of games.
Especially with the vision and development of Scotty Bowman influencing the future of the franchise - the future is near for the Blackhawks, one that they've been looking forward to for a long, long time.
AND they can still make a major move to get even better. With Nikolai Khabibulin (a 50+ game starter with a Stanley Cup ring), they can bait their line to bring in another talented player. There are teams out there that aren't confident with their goaltending, and Khabibulin could be tempting, no doubt.