Blackhawk Convention: Who’s Stan Bowman’s Mystery Date?



Dating myself (no pun intended), I grew up longer ago than I am willing to admit anymore, and had two older sisters who played this board game called Mystery Date.

In it, a date would show up at the door (for the girl playing), one would be a Dreamboat carrying a gift, another might be an unkempt “Dud.” You get the idea, and I certainly lived up to the Dud standards over the years. But I digress, this is a hockey blog.

The Blackhawks may roll out their own Mystery Date at next weekend’s Fan Convention. Rumors are flying, reported here and elsewhere, of various trade discussions ranging from Max Pacioretty to Jeff Skinner or Justin Faulk.

And it’s a fairly widely held belief that Team President John McDonough’s marketing mind loves nothing more than a big splash, any time of the year, but especially right now, before the Hawks’ Annual Summer Love-In.

So who will it be? Or who will it not be? And imagine the pressure Stan Bowman must be under right now to get something done, especially coming on the heels of a debatably popular/unpopular trade with Arizona late last week. A trade that cleared a fair amount of cap space, only raising the chatter and expectations of a subsequent deal (or deals)?

Myself, I heard that the deal had intensified the Hawks’ pursuit of Montreal winger Pacioretty. I also heard that an earlier report by Jay Zawaski that had the Hawks in discussion with UFA defenseman Luca Sbisa was accurate. Though certainly there’s a big gulf in terms of splash value between a Pacioretty and a Sbisa.

So, JJ, you might ask, what’s the point to all this, beside trotting out an old board game meme?

Not much, except to say that for some reason, the Hawks have been linked to just about every reasonable quality left wing on the planet since May, most recently even Artemi Panarin. But I have some serious doubts about that.

I also heard the rumors linking Brandon Saad to Carolina for Faulk were just that. Rumors. And “no way” was it happening. Which suggests (at least) this intense interest in left wings would not be as a backfill for Saad.

So, bigger picture, this all seems to say the Hawks likely have Alex DeBrincat slated for the “other” right wing slot in the top 6, with Saad and possibly Skinner or Pacioretty on the other side. And that could be a fairly potent top two lines.

Doesn’t fix last year’s porous defense. Though a healthy Marcus Kruger could quietly help there.

Doesn’t magically bring Corey Crawford back to health.

Still the fan in me wants to believe, hope, light a candle in church, that Bowman has an ace or two yet up his sleeve. And the week ahead could be interesting indeed.

And so I’ll turn it over to all of you. Please comment on the thread below as to who you think, if anyone, Bowman will have as his Mystery Date at the Convention next weekend?

Just Cam Ward, Chris Kunitz and Kruger? Perhaps some duds TBD, including say the remains of Jaromir Jagr, Dan Hamhuis, Francois Beauchemin or Thomas Vanek (they’re available)?

Or someone else? And what will that someone else cost the Hawks?

What then what does the Hawk lineup look like?

I await your thoughts. Follow @jaeckel



Leave a Reply