Stan Bowman knows replacing Mike Haviland is crucial
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org May 30, 2012 11:39PM
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman
Updated: July 6, 2012 9:32AM
NEWARK, N.J. — Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman spoke glowingly about Mike Haviland on Wednesday.
He gave him credit for the development of players such as Dustin Byfuglien, Troy Brouwer and Dave Bolland. He highlighted his success in the minors, and he even said he has the pedigree to be an NHL head coach.
“He’s a very capable guy,” Bowman said.
In other words, Bowman understands finding a suitable — or more capable — assistant coach to replace Haviland, who was fired by coach Joel Quenneville after the season with the organization’s blessing, is crucial.
“[The coaching search] doesn’t get as much attention, but it’s an important part for us internally,” Bowman said after the GM meetings in New York before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals in New Jersey.
“The important thing is to do it right. You don’t have to do it fast necessarily, but we’ve got some ideas on how we want to handle that, and I would expect in the next little bit here we’re going to dive into that and try to get our staff in order.”
Bowman wouldn’t say whether the interview process had started and declined to elaborate on Quenneville’s comments that they both felt there was dysfunction on the coaching staff.
“I think we can be better, and he agreed with me,” Bowman said.
Haviland was a favorite of many Hawks players, but Bowman doesn’t foresee that severed connection as a major concern.
“I’ve talked to some of the players,” Bowman said. “I saw a few of the guys over at the world championships. I’ve talked to a few other guys on the phone, and that wasn’t a topic of conversation in terms of that. I guess you could get a better feel for that from them, but I don’t envision that being an issue.”
Bowman had some encouraging news about the status of Marian Hossa. The star winger has been recovering from a concussion suffered in the playoffs when he was hit in the head by Phoenix Coyotes brute Raffi Torres.
“I’ve gotten reports from our medical staff. They contact him very regularly, and he’s doing much better,” Bowman said. “I think we’re sitting here in May and projecting out to training camp in September. I can’t predict it, but I would be very encouraged that he would be ready to participate by then.”
On the record
Bowman, on whether he feels more compelled to make trades this offseason to improve the team: “I don’t know about ‘shake things up,’ to do something just to do it. But we’re willing to consider things.”