Stan Bowman always says, if he needs to add to this Chicago Blackhawks team, he will. As the trade deadline looms, however, he’s not feeling the need to do that.
The Blackhawks will probably be quiet at the trade deadline, as their general manager said he’s happy with the current lineup and is just focused on “just going ahead.”
“We’re not focused on the deadline. We’re really happy with the team we have,” Bowman said prior to the Blackhawks’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field. “We've got a great group here, a lot of chemistry with our guys. We're focused on just going ahead and getting back on the ice. We've been off for a while with the break, but (the trade deadline) is not the focus for us.”
The Blackhawks have made a few moves already, from getting some depth among their forwards (Peter Regin) and goaltending (Jason LaBarbera). Bowman said the Blackhawks made their biggest move, reacquiring Kris Versteeg, in November on purpose.
“We did that intentionally to try to get a player in for a longer period of time,” he said. “I think sometimes it's hard when a guy comes in for a couple weeks and then you jump into the playoffs; you can't get him acclimated to your system and the way you play and who you're going to play with.”
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While the Blackhawks will likely stand pat, other teams will probably make their moves. One of their biggest foes already did; the St. Louis Blues made a splash on Friday night, acquiring Ryan Miller and Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres. It’s something the Blackhawks, including Bowman, noticed. But the urge to make a big move to match a big move just isn’t there.
“We're trying not to be a reactionary team because I think we have to do what we do well and focus on our own preparation,” Bowman said. “The Blues have been a great team all year. You're going to have to play your best against them. But I think you can't be reactionary that way. Those guys haven't even played a game yet in St. Louis. You kind of have to see how it all shakes out but we're more focused on what we can do. We have to play good hockey.”
If the Blackhawks do welcome someone to their team later this season, it could be Teuvo Teravainen. The young Finnish forward looked good in training camp and was tremendous at the World Junior tournament at the end of last season. Bowman said it’s not set in stone, however – Teravainen could play in the World Championships in the spring.
“Hypothetically, if he's free and clear to come over, we'd certainly bring him over,” Bowman said. “He's having a great season over there as a 19 year old kid. The nice thing for us with Teuvo is we don't need to rely on him, even if he does come over. He's not going to be the focal point of our team. I think at that age you have to be careful you don't put your expectations too high. He's just going to be another player if he comes in. But he certainly has the talent to be able to play with high end players here.”
The Blackhawks will probably be very quiet come the trade deadline. They’ve made their moves, they’re happy with their group. Now, it’s just about seeing how far they can go.