CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It’s not a rebuild nor is it a tweak, but Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman made significant changes to his team in the span of just a month.
After missing the playoffs the past two seasons the moves were made out of necessity.
“We came up with a game plan,” Bowman told WBBM Newsradio’s George Ofman in a lengthy interview at the Hawks practice site. “These are the players we wanted to target as free agents, but we felt there were some players that had contracts we had to trade for.”
And Bowman did, acquiring defenseman Olie Maata and Calvin de Haan in trades along with bringing back the popular Andrew Shaw from Montreal. Bowman also traded young defenseman Henri Jokiharju and Artem Anisimov for veteran players while signing several free agents including goaltender Robin Lehner.
“We’re a different team than we were back in April and we’re a much better team,” he said.
The Hawks were one of the league’s worst defensive teams last season.
“I think we’ve made several moves to strengthen those areas,” but Bowman said it will take time for everyone to come together as a unit.
But after being bounced in the first round of the playoffs consecutive years and then missing them the next two, does Bowman believe he now has a team that contends for the Stanley Cup?
“I think it is. That’s what we’re trying to build here," Bowman said.