Scotty Bowman left the Chicago Blackhawks after what he called “a pretty awkward year.”
Bowman announced Tuesday that he no longer works for the organization as of July 1, saying he decided it was time to move on after 14 years as the Blackhawks’ senior adviser on hockey operations.
Bowman’s son, Stan, resigned as general manager in October after an independent investigation into the team’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2010 revealed he knew about the situation.
“It was a pretty awkward year because of the Stan thing, getting fired, and I stayed the whole year and tried to keep going as long as I could, which I think I did,” Bowman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. . “It has been a good trip. I mean, you don’t get to work with your son all the time. Naturally, you have your differences of opinion, but I got to know the staff of the team, and it was a good trip to be able to see how this team developed and everything else.
Bowman, who turns 89 in September, said he left the organization on good terms. He’s not closing the door on another NHL job, but he’s not looking for work right away. He plans to continue his routine of splitting time between his homes in suburban Buffalo, New York, and Sarasota, Florida, allowing him to make press box appearances at Tampa Bay Lightning games.
“You have to keep yourself busy,” he said. “The game has changed a lot, you know? It’s so fast. The line changes, players change so fast now they probably change twice as fast as they did in my day, so it’s a different game, but it’s still in my blood.”
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame 31 years ago, Bowman won the Stanley Cup nine times as a coach, leading the Montreal Canadiens to the championship in 1973, ’76, ’77, ’78 and ’79, the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, ’98 and 2002. Counting his four titles as a member of a front office, including three with Chicago in 2010, ’13 and ’15, his 14 are the second-most in history. in the league behind Habs. the 17 of the great Jean Beliveau.
Another championship seems a long way off for the Blackhawks.
Kyle Davidson replaced Bowman on an interim basis in the fall and was given the full-time GM job after a lengthy search. Davidson is now in charge of a major roster dismantling, which has already included trading young forwards Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach and letting Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik go rather than make qualifying offers to retain their rights.
The big question now concerns the future of franchise mainstays Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who both have one year left on their respective contracts.
“It’s a discussion we’re going to have to have,” Davidson said last week at the NHL draft. “We are honest and we told them what could happen. And we’re going to have to potentially make some changes. So there was no cheating in that. But it’s real now. There is a discussion that is going to have to happen. They are aware of what we expect of them and why we want them around”.
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