TALKING POINTS: Bowman on Opening Day of Training Camp
SVP/GM Stan Bowman speaks with media on the Blackhawks opening day of 2019 Training Camp
As the Blackhawks opened 2019 Training Camp, Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman addressed the media on a range of topics including optimism for the 2019-20 season, roster battles, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane coming off career seasons, the contracts for Philip Holm and Brendan Perlini, and much more.
Watch the full interview or read his answers below:
On if optimism level is different this year than from previous years...
I don't know if it's comparing year to year. It's just exciting to get back here. We've all talked a lot about the team and where we are headed this year and I think there's a sense of excitement for some newness. We have some new players, new coaches. It's a different look for our camp and for that reason I think we're excited to be back on the ice and finally ready to go.
On giving players enough time to compete for a spot on the team vs. finalizing that roster so that Jeremy and the staff can implement systems...
The system stuff starts today. That's the focus for our guys: to learn how we want to play. For a team to have success, you have to be playing all on the same page. All it takes is one guy to be a second off or make one misread and then everything sort of breaks down. That's important for our players, even for the ones that aren't going to start in Chicago and are going to start in Rockford. Eventually, some of these guys are going to be playing in Chicago, whether it's player injuries. So, everyone needs to get up to speed on how we want to play. We've got time to decide what are final roster is going to be for the first game of the year. But even in that, the roster for the first game is going to be different than the 12th game. Things change quickly and there is a lot of movement that first month of the year…Guys that are there the first game might not be there later. All of the games matter but we are going to use a lot of players this year and I think we have a lot better depth than we have in the past and building a group of players in Rockford that can come up and help our team is going to help us get to where we want as a team.
On the signing of Philip Holm and re-signing of Brendan Perlini...
Philip gives us some depth on defense…He's got a nice skillset. I think he fits in with how we want to play. What I mean by that is he's got good skills, he's a good skater. Offensively he can make plays as well. I think in the last couple of years he has been a steady player, defensively that you can trust in a lot of different situations. He has some versatility to his game. A little bit older too. We like that. I think he can complement the group we have here.
As far as Perlini, he had flashes of greatness last year and it's just a matter of consistency for him. If we can build that, his best game is really impressive, and it can help us. If we can get that to come out more often, I think it will be good for the team.
On Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews coming off of career seasons...
It's pretty unusual and pretty impressive to see them do that. I look at their offensive contributions and to have your best year at the age of 30, it doesn't happen too often but I think (that's because of) the way that they prepare themselves and the amount of effort they put in. Especially Jonathan, he trained really hard last summer. He trained a bit differently and I think we saw it pay off. Just in talking to him in the last week or two, he is more determined than ever to have another great season. Patrick continues to impress with his ability to reinvent himself. He's always adding new wrinkles to his game and I think that's what makes those two players so special. As great as they are, they are never comfortable with their level, they always want to improve. There's no reason to think that they aren't going to keep doing that.
I don't know if I've seen anything different from Corey. He's back to himself and as far as his personality, he's excited to be back playing and ready for the season to begin. I think he's in a good frame of mind, he trained well and he's ready for a big season. I know he's a big part of our team, he has been for years, and we expect that it will be the same this season also.
On depth and forwards battling for just a few spots...
We have a lot of depth. You can make an argument that nine or 10 guys could be on the team. That's not going to be the case, there are going to be some good players that don't start this season here. But that's not to say that they won't be here two weeks later. The beginning of the season is an important starting point for everybody. There's going to be some guys that have really good camps that it's a numbers game. I think we have a lot more depth than we have had so it's going to bring out the competition in everybody. It's going to force players to raise their game and then it gives us a lot of option. So there are going to be some players that start the season in Rockford that no doubt are going to play a big roles on the team at some point. Could even be in October, could be in November. I think competition is good though.
On if Adam Boqvist is ready for the NHL...
I think Adam has made enough progress. The biggest thing for him is the physicality and the strength and I thought he put in a lot of work. I have to give him credit, especially this summer. Even last year during the season. He still has to continue to mature and develop physically but he's ready to be a pro…He's a player we are going to want to have access to, whether that be here in Chicago or nearby in Rockford.