It is November 3rd and the Blackhawks season is effectively over already. Sound familiar? Seems like every year lately starts out the same for the Hawks. This year feels different though. Most years you have the sense that management is willing to ride out the slow start while the team find itself and eventually makes the playoffs.
However, you get the feeling that John McDonough and Jay Blunk have had just about enough. They expect to win and they are not seeing that with this team. It looks like it might be time to play one of Chicago's favorite games, who gets cut first?
Here are today's contestants. Remember, this is only an exhibition, no wagering please.
Our hockey insider, John Markiewicz says:
Seabrook should be gone by the end of the month. Fighting with the coach about your playing time is never a good thing, even if you are Seabrook. He is officially on the trade block and hopefully somebody pulls the trigger on him. A 5th rounder sounds fair, but then so does a bag of used pucks.
I was going to put him down for a Seabrook vote, but then I got this text from him this morning.
I don't think Colliton makes it to Thanksgiving. It is looking like another top three draft pick next year. It is sad to say but it may be time to blow it up and officially start the rebuild. They looked overmatched against the awful Kings last night.
So that's one vote for Seabrook and one vote for Colliton so far.
Here is where my mind is on these two guys. Seabrook is untradeable because of his contract. There is nobody in their right mind that would take that on so the Blackhawks are stuck with him. Whether he likes it or not his playing time is going to very limited so he best just accept that fact and start transitioning to his next career, coaching, by helping the young kids on this team.
He has tons of experience to share with them and he can ingrate himself to ownership by showing what a team guy he is while not being a distraction. At the end of the year he can gracefully retire and help the Hawks in Rockford next season.
As for Jeremy Colliton, he was just given a contract, and with all the money the Hawks are still spending on dead weight already, it is highly unlikely that he is going to be jettisoned. I would expect him to be a part of the rebuild, at least until things improve and then he might be cut loose for more experience behind the bench.
He seems in over his head right now and I'm not sure if it is due to lack of talent on the ice or his not knowing what to do to make this team look competitive. I'm leaning towards both. There are more holes on this team right now than they can plug and we are just going to have to suck it up and live through an awful season.
So that leaves only one guy left on our list and he is my choice for first gone, Stan Bowman.
Let's take a walk down memory lane with Stan as VP, GM, or whatever his title was/is.
He may be the worst judge of talent in Chicago sports history, and that is really saying something because we have had some doozies picking players in this town. Since he took over the duties, after forcing out Dale Tallon who built the Cup winning teams, in 2009 he has had eleven first round draft picks, only three are still on the roster and they all were drafted in the last two years.
That is a whopping 27% success rate, decent if you are a major league baseball player with a batting average, not so good if you are drafting a team. Not including the two guys still in juniors, his second round picks are even worse where he is stumbling along at 25%. So, since 2009 he has drafted twenty-three players and only six are still with the team, and three of them are buried in Rockford, never to be seen again.
That leaves him a stunning career total of 13% of the players he has drafted are on the parent club today. Just think about that for a minute. If you had a 13% success rate at work, whatever you do, you would be fired in a heartbeat and nobody would blink an eye. I just don't see John McDonough allowing this to continue.
You cannot develop a consistent winning organization when the guy assembling that organization has no clue what he is doing. If Stan is still here by New Years I will be stunned. He does not deserve any more chances, and in fact the new guy needs to be in place right now to evaluate this team to go forward.
Thank god for beer.