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Bowman: Hawks made 'impressive offer' to Parise

by John Kreiser

The Chicago Blackhawks didn't get Zach Parise -- this summer's top free-agent forward opted to sign with Minnesota on Wednesday -- but GM Stan Bowman said it wasn't for lack of trying.

"We made a very impressive offer to Zach. It came down to a family decision. You have to respect that," Bowman said during a conference call Wednesday night. "Our objective is not to make 'a splash.' Our objective is win hockey games. You can't look past the group we already have."

Bowman said that missing out on Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter -- who also signed with the Wild -- won't stop the Hawks from trying to get better.

The one thing Bowman said he couldn't offer was the chance to play at home.

"Players like to play in their hometowns and there are family considerations with the wife," he said. "When those are the things that are the tipping point, you have to wish them well and move on to the next matter at hand. We made an impressive case. That's the feedback we got from the agent."

Bowman said he'll continue to look at free agency and trade possibilities to improve the Blackhawks, who are coming off back-to-back first-round Stanley Cup Playoff exits. But he said he wants to do more than make a big splash during the summer

"Our [objective] is to win hockey games," he said. "It's to put a team on the ice to give us the best chance to win the Cup next year. It's not like we have seven holes to fill. Last year's team had 101 points and there was a lot more to give. There are ways to be better with that same group. Think there was some growth from within that we're going to do, and we'll look at adding players from the outside."

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