By Tim Baffoe–
(CBS) It’s human nature to desire a certain structure to everything, albeit not often a conscious desire. Even if feeding off of our emotions seems like the best course of action, there are certain hard doses of logic or stabilization set in place to give us a good douse of cold water as needed. The buckets are carried sometimes by parents/guardians, sometimes by teachers.READ MORE: Three Men Shot At Stadium Sports Club In Rolling Meadows
Sometimes, they’re carried by a general manager who has won three Stanley Cup titles in the last six seasons. Thank goodness for Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Former Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad is a fan favorite around here, with good reason. He’s electric on the ice and will add a major offensive component to his new team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who acquired him in a trade with Chicago on Tuesday afternoon and plan to match any offer sheet the restricted free agent receives.
Another fan favorite around here is the belief that assume Bowman has no idea what he’s doing with trades and free agency. He got rid of too many guys after 2010, some believed. He didn’t bring in enough around a core gifted to him by Dale Tallon to keep the party going after 2013, went another narrative.
With Bowman trading away Saad due to the NHL salary cap Jenga rules (and getting Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp in return in the seven-player deal), it’s like the perfect storm for outrage from fans who can only fill the sieve of their souls with sports wins and hatred of the front office.
It stinks that Saad had to go, and watching him play in a Chicago sweater has been really cool. What’s cooler, though, is that Bowman doesn’t give a flying puck about your Saad crush.
The 22-year-old Saad reportedly wanted six years at a supposed $6.5 million annual cap hit.
“That’s the kind of contract that would sink the Blackhawks. Already in cap hell, the Hawks would have swallowed hard and signed Saad for $5 million, maybe even $5.5 million, but $6.5 million is too rich. With Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell already presumably gone, that number would have forced the Hawks to trade even more players. It could have cost them Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger and maybe more. There’s no doubt that Saad is a great player, but the Hawks have to be able to ice an NHL team.”
Bowman’s a man charged with competently organizing a team. He’s done that quite well since he’s been GM of the Hawks, all while never winning over all of the rabblers who just like to be angry rather than face a scarier reality of feeling nothing at all between seasons.
And he doesn’t care about you, the sore Saad fan. And it’s wonderful.
As Zawaski pointed out, Saad’s not a “franchise player.”
Now it’s time to let Saad not be the guy in Columbus. Think Bowman knows what Saad’s ceiling is? Well, if you think Bowman’s making an epic mistake, then you’ll say no. And you’ll be more likely to be wrong than Bowman. Because being wrong about Bowman is what whiny Blackhawks fans do.READ MORE: University Of Chicago Folk Festival Works To Adapt Again Amid COVID-19 Surge
“This is a business, and we have a job to do,” he said of the deal. “My job is to prepare our team for next season to remain competitive and to have a chance to win the Cup again. Sometimes, that means difficult decisions.”
While parting with Saad’s talent and youth was certainly difficult for Bowman, considering broken hearts wasn’t at all. You did the same with the waving goodbye to guys like Dustin Byfuglien, and you were proved a fool by a shrewd little bald dude in an unremarkable suit who would sooner release bees on you than listen to your hot takes on how to fix the oh-so-broken Blackhawks.
“But this roster revamp will be much different — better — than it was in the summer of 2010,” wrote 670 The Score’s Chris Emma.
“Anisimov, 27, becomes the second-line anchor the Blackhawks have long coveted, Dano is another rising star to build around (he and Teuvo Teravainen would be fun as linemates), Morin gets a second chance to join Chicago’s lines and Tropp could add depth, too.”
Stan Bowman: "Teuvo [Teravainen] is going to have a bigger role." #Blackhawks— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 30, 2015
Heaven forbid another young potential stud who everyone loves get an expanded role now. And look away from this:
Marko Dano is the man. https://t.co/NyYIYZrA4w— Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell) March 15, 2015
Nah, focus on the outrage. It feels better in the immediate and temporary.
Bowman is focused on what works for the Chicago Blackhawks right now with a core that’s the envy of the NHL, a respectable farm system, a solid overseas scouting department and a salary cap situation that isn’t ideal but also the modern byproduct of winning a freakin’ Stanley Cup. Again.
But oh yeah — Bowman’s in over his head. Again.
It’s a nice, conscious feeling, this having a grownup in charge, one who will do what’s best for fans despite themselves. He brings needed structure, no matter the reflexive angst of the perpetually adolescent barstool know-it-alls.
Now go towel off and put the bucket over your head until next postseason.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Metra Sets Tracks Ablaze To Combat Extreme Cold
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.