Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman held a conference call Thursday after trading Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina for two draft picks, in addition to signing Richard Panik. Here are a few highlights of the call:
On dealing Teravainen: “It’s always difficult trading a young player like Teuvo who’s had a good start to his career. We certainly wish him well. It was a tough deal from that perspective when you have to give up a young player, but by the same token, I do like the fact that we’re acquiring some draft picks in this draft and next year when we host the draft. The goal is to try and keep this thing going and have young players coming in, even though Teuvo is a young player. It’s hard these days when you have young guys that are entering the final year of his first contract, then things get tricky when players get raises. You’re always looking to have that next wave of young guys coming in.”
On Andrew Shaw: “We like what he brings to the table and we’d like to make something work. I think this is a step in the right direction. We certainly had to move Bickell to have some flexibility as we go into next season. There’s still the unknown of where the salary cap is going to be, so it’s really tough to predict what’s going to happen over the next couple weeks. We have had discussions with them and we’re working through that. We still don’t know what the parameters are for next year. It’s still too early. I realize everyone wants an answer to that question, but it’s just too hard to make guesses at this point.”
On signing Richard Panik: “That was a nice surprise, if you want to call it that, the way Richard came in in the middle of the year. He was in the lineup the first month or two; not a lot happened to him, good or bad. I think he finally got his confidence as the year was getting down the stretch and I think he played his best hockey in the playoffs, which is obviously a good sign for us that when the games got bigger he was able to take his game up a notch.
On new practice facility: “It’s a huge step in the right direction for our franchise. If you look some of the things I’ve touched on here, the importance of development and having young players through the draft that you’re going to be folding into the mix in the coming years, having a state-of-the-art facility to do that I think is critical. There’s a lot of teams recently that have been able to add that as something they offer their players. It’s an investment in your city, it’s an investment in your franchise and it’s an investment in your team to give these guys the best tools you can to improve their game. This is certainly going to be second-to-none when it’s finalized.
On Panarin extension: “The goal would be to get that contract done at some point. You can’t even start negotiating until July. Part of that is going to be a function of Artemi and his agent and their desire. We’ve had that in the past where certain players have chosen not to want to engage until that season is over, which is their right. We’ll see what their interest level is. Obviously he had a fantastic season and we love what he brings to the table. We want to work out a contract with him. It’s pretty early here. We really can’t even get into it for another couple weeks and then we’ll have a discussion and see how they want to approach it.”