CHICAGO – The free agency period started Friday and didn't take long to become frenzied.
Signings started rolling in left and right, a blockbuster trade was hatched, and all day long the hockey experts assessed winners and losers. There was one general manager, however, who watched it unfold and barely had his pulse increase.
Stan Bowman, the Chicago Blackhawks' GM, probably didn't pound his desk in frustration when David Clarkson and Tyler Bozak chose the Toronto Maple Leafs, or when Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss opted to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.
"I've always had the philosophy that if you're relying on the free-agent period in July to save your team, it's probably not the prescription we're looking for," Bowman said during a conference call Friday night. "I think adding a player here and there is certainly understandable, and Bryan Bickell, I guess, could fall into that category. We got him signed a week ago leading into this, so he may be the only guy you could put into that category for us, for the frenzy. But I think the way to build success and sustain it is to draft and develop your players and then add in the occasional player through free agency."