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updated: 3/5/2014 9:21 PM

Post-deadline, Blackhawks' Bowman likes his team

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  • Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is happy with his roster as it gets ready to defend its Stanley Cup victory.

      Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is happy with his roster as it gets ready to defend its Stanley Cup victory.
    Associated Press

 
 

The past is forever prologue, at least in the world of Stan Bowman and especially at the trade deadline.

The Blackhawks general manager has never been caught up in the final-day frenzy, never waited until the last minute to make a blockbuster deal, preferring instead to make significant moves in the summer or earlier in the season, as the Hawks did with Kris Versteeg.

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Before the Hawks won their first Stanley Cup in 2010, and knowing the salary-cap nightmare that was on the horizon, Bowman dumped Cam Barker a couple weeks before the deadline in return for Nick Leddy and Kim Johnsson.

In 2011, he acquired Chris Campoli for spare parts on deadline day, and in 2012 he got Johnny Oduya at the deadline for two draft picks, a deal that has paid off nicely for the Hawks.

Last season, before the second Cup victory, he picked up Michal Handzus at the deadline, a move that didn't look very good with each agonizingly slow step Handzus took. Yet, the center ended up making a significant contribution on the way to another parade last summer.

Of course, being up against the cap meant little chance of the Hawks making a huge move Wednesday unless a major player was dealt off the roster, and there was no chance of that happening since the Hawks like their team as is.

Bowman had made no secret of that in weeks prior, and Wednesday he made no apologies for it.

Asked if he thought the Hawks were good enough to repeat without having made a deal, and in light of teams like St. Louis making major trades, Bowman said, "Yes, I do, but we can't look too far down the road.

"We're focused on winning the division first. That was the goal to start the year. You do that, then you get in. Once you get in, anything can happen.

"A lot of components are similar to a year ago, and some of our younger players are better than a year ago.

"From that perspective we have a good group that understands what it takes to win. But we take nothing for granted. We're not gonna get too far ahead of ourselves."

Winning on Tour

Before winning a four-man playoff at the Honda last weekend, Russell Henley hadn't accomplished much for a while. He could have blamed the five hours he spent with me in the BMW Pro-Am last September, but instead he talked about handling a victory in his first start as a PGA Tour member in January 2013.

"It was a lot to deal with after I won," Henley said. "I played in the Masters, played in all the majors, played in all the WGCs, and I don't know that I was really prepared to do all that mentally."

Since that win at the Sony 14 months ago, Henley played 32 tournaments, missed 11 cuts and collected two top 10s, before taking down Rory McIlroy on Sunday.

"A full year on Tour will teach you a lot about who you are and what you need to do with your game," Henley said. "Golf is so hard that nobody knows for sure if they are going to keep anything going. I know I can control my work ethic and my attitude, and hopefully I can keep those consistent."

Trade deadline

If Ryan Miller becomes Ryan Miller again, St. Louis won the deadline and becomes the team to beat in the West.

Anaheim did very well in picking up Stephane Robidas, but the Ducks also dealt Dustin Penner, perhaps with an eye toward acquiring one of the better forwards on the market, like Ryan Kesler, Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson, which didn't happen.

Tim Thomas going to Dallas makes the Stars the sleeper no one will want in the first round.

Oh, Canada

You have to admire Tampa GM Steve Yzerman, who also put together the Canadian Olympic team and originally left his own star, Martin St. Louis, off the squad, doing what he thought was best for Canada.

St. Louis eventually became a late addition due to injury but never forgave Yzerman, demanding a trade to the Rangers when they got back from Sochi. Not only did Yzerman accede to his wishes, but he also weakened his own team while getting St. Louis to New York.

Quite an honorable man.

Dead lines

So Vancouver GM Mike Gillis had two No. 1 goalies, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, waited too long to trade them both, and wound up with a grand total of a No. 1 pick, Shawn Matthias and Jacob Markstrom.

I don't want to alarm anyone, but this Canucks thing is so far off the rails in another 10 or 15 years it won't be fun to troll anymore.

Young guns

With his win Sunday in the Honda, Russell Henley became the fourth player under age 25 with multiple wins, joining Rory McIlroy (6), Harris English (2) and Patrick Reed (2).

The quote

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon on making deals in the NHL: "Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield."

Best tweet

From @TheNBAonNotSC: "Source: The Knicks are giving up hope for Lent this year."

And finally …

Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "Jameis Winston batted against the New York Yankees in an exhibition contest. Winston said he hasn't faced a payroll that large since the game with Auburn."

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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