Blackhawks GM Bowman: 'We're really going to fall in love' with new acquisitions

Greg Bartram / USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman isn't worried about the club's new look for the upcoming season.

"I think change is good, and I think we've embraced that in the past and been able to bring in some players that now are household names … but at one point they were new," Bowman told's Brian Hedger.

"It's going to be the same thing for some of the new guys that are part of this group next year. They might be new to the fans and media, but as you'll see in time, I think we're really going to fall in love with some of these guys."

The Blackhawks signed KHL star Artemi Panarin and Swedish league standout Erik Gustafsson during their playoff run in the spring. Then, after winning their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, Chicago was forced to shake up the roster due in large part to salary cap constraints.

Top-line forward Brandon Saad was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a seven-player deal July 1, and the Blackhawks landed Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, and Corey Tropp.

Nine days later, Chicago traded Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars in a four-player deal that netted them defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.

"Every year you have a new mixture that you're trying to put together, and I think the one thing that I try to remind people is that each year is unique and each year is different," Bowman said.

"I know the tendency for everybody, whether it's fans or even people around the team, is to look backward: 'Well, this is how we had it last year, so this guy is going to replace that guy.' But when you look back on it, we had a different blueprint each year that we won the Cup. It wasn't the identical same team and one player replaced another one."

Head coach Joel Quenneville laments losing Saad, but understands the nature of the salary cap era.

"It's tough losing a young kid who could be a real good player in our league," he said.

"We (will) miss a dimension to our team as well. That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, (and) deservedly so. (Saad) falls into that category."

Bowman put a positive spin on the significant turnover his team has undergone, and the club's impending youth movement.

"We have some new players (coming) in. So when you look at it from that perspective, you get excited about what the possibilities might be for next year with some of the new players we have coming in."

Blackhawks GM Bowman: 'We're really going to fall in love' with new acquisitions
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