A fuming Stan Bowman addressed the media Saturday at the United Center and delivered a two-minute opening statement in which the general manager promised changes would be coming to the Chicago Blackhawks after watching his team get swept out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"I'm completely disappointed," Bowman said. "It's unacceptable to be where we are today. I'm frustrated, I'm angry. This is a tough, tough loss for us all to take. ...
Stan Bowman's state of the BlackhawksHere's an excerpt of Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman's statement to the media at the United Center on Saturday:
"I'm completely disappointed. It's unacceptable to be where we are today. I'm frustrated, I'm angry. This is a tough, tough loss for us all to take.
"Standing here April 22nd is not the way we expected our season to end, and it's a complete failure when you measure it against the expectations that we have of ourselves. We did not come even close to reaching the standard that we set over the years here, and that's unacceptable. ...
"It's not close to good enough for anybody. It's time … to take a look in the mirror and face facts. When you do that, you look at accountability and that starts with me. I need to be better. There's no doubt about it. I'm going to take a look at all things and I can promise you I will be better.
"Top to bottom, we need more. ... There will be change moving forward. Change comes in many different ways. The specifics of how we're going to change things into next year are not really meant for this forum, but I can promise you we need to be better. Joel (Quenneville) is our head coach … and Joel and I are going to work together to make sure that this never happens again."
"I'm going to take a look at all things and I can promise you I will be better. Top to bottom, we need more. This is unacceptable to be where we are today. There will be change moving forward."
Bowman wouldn't go into the extent of those changes but did say coach Joel Quenneville was not in danger of losing his job, and they would work together on the changes.
A lack of intensity, drive and passion were some of the biggest issues during the Hawks' dismal performance against Nashville -- a series in which they were outscored 13-3 in the four straight losses.
Why did that occur? Although Patrick Kane said before the series that the Hawks wouldn't take the Predators for granted, he was singing a different tune on a day that players cleaned out their lockers and went their separate ways for what will be another long off-season.
"Maybe we were in a situation where we were looking past a team like Nashville and thinking that we were going to go on, and it was going to be an easy series," Kane said. "It's easy to say all of this stuff now, but I guess if you look back and watch the games, you could say they wanted it a bit more."
The Hawks' core has won three Stanley Cups and it's fair to wonder if -- even on a subliminal level -- the "want-to" isn't there as much as it was in the 2009-10 season.
"I don't know if I buy that," Bowman said. "And if that's the case, then we're going to get rid of those people because the only reason we come here is to win the Cup."
Quenneville also disagreed with that thought process and believes his veterans have the opposite mentality.
"After winning a Cup or two or three, I think that creates even more of an appetite," he said. "The experience is so spectacular or special that it's something you can't wait to try and accomplish again. I think that's a healthy trait, although it didn't come out."
Brent Seabrook said he wants a fourth Cup as much as he wanted the first one.
"Once you get that taste, you want that every year," Seabrook said. "For myself, winning a Stanley Cup was an unbelievable accomplishment, something I'm very proud of. But winning the second one and the third one, I had more excitement and energy out of those.
"It's about the experience of going through two months of killing each other and doing it with your teammates, and going to war and fighting, and … hopefully you end up with the Stanley Cup. But the journey is the greatest part.
"The taste for a fourth Stanley Cup is greater than any of the other ones we've had."
As disappointed as everyone was in their postseason performances, an overreaction may be dangerous for a team that won 50 games and was the top seed in the West.
Bowman, though, didn't embrace that logic.
"We can't expect everything to come back the exact same and think we're going to have a different result," he said.
Of course, drastic changes will be difficult to make to a roster loaded with high-salaried players such as Kane, Seabrook, Jonathan Toews, Artemi Panarin, Corey Crawford, Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov.
So it will be interesting to see where the Hawks go from here. Crawford, however, vowed to learn from the gut-wrenching, embarrassing playoff experience.
"It will take some time to understand what happened, what went wrong and how we had those performances," Crawford said. "We just got beat and it wasn't even close. That's something we definitely have to think about."
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