Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said trade talks with other teams aren’t exactly heating up, but the Hawks are talking.
“You can never be too deep at center or defense,” Bowman said on Monday before the Hawks 7-5 loss to the Avalanche. “Not an indictment on our players, but when a centerman goes down it can hurt your lineup. That’s something we looked at. Also one if the keys is your play on the back end. I feel comfortable with our group right now, but if you can improve it you have to look at that.”
Bowman said nothing was “imminent” but after Monday’s game maybe that will change. Here are other highlights from Bowman’s session with the media:
Jeremy Morin: He’s on the preliminary roster for the World Junior Championships, which take place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. Bowman said Morin will only go if he’s playing in Rockford at the time, and he’ll only go to Rockford if the Hawks are healthy enough to afford it.
“If he’s in our lineup here, we’re not going to take him out of the NHL to put him in world juniors,” Bowman said. “But the way things are transpiring he’d be going to Rockford if guys are healthy.”
Bowman said the Hawks had about a week to decide what they will do with Morin.
Kyle Beach: Many have wondered why the 11th pick in the 2008 draft hasn’t had a turn with the Hawks yet.
“It’s actually a timing thing,” Bowman explained. “Kyle, we were going to bring him up, he was the guy and then the player who was questionable was able to play that game. We went on for a little bit and Jeremy [Morin] had a couple good games. We told them at the beginning of the year we would reward the players who deserved it at the time. That was a challenge to the players to be good every night. [We] talked to Kyle about it, ‘a week ago you were the guy.’ Then Jeremy had a couple good games so he earned it. The next time it could easily be Kyle.”
Rockford shuffle: Like Jack Skille a year ago the Hawks have been sending players -- most notably Morin -- up and down with Rockford on off days to save money. Bowman says it’s just taking advantage of the system.
“It’s no different than what we did last year,” Bowman said. “Things are tight but we’re one of 10 or 12 teams that it’s tight for. We’re fortunate that we’re able to do it, with relative ease, to send a guy down for a day and then bring him back later. Some teams are spread across the country and it’s not an option. We’ve taken advantage of that. And I think you have to do that. You want to give yourself as much flexibility as you can for future moves that you might make. Once you get to the end of January or February, you can’t do it at that point. You can’t save additional money. If you can save it now, save it. That’s the approach we take.”
Goalie situation: On labeling goalies as No. 1 and No. 2.
“We had a feeling internally what he [Corey Crawford] was all about,” Bowman said. “He’s got a lot of experience as a pro, just not at that this level. I think we look at it differently maybe than you guys do. We’re excited for Corey. He’s shown he can play in the league and we can rely on him. Over the course of the year you’re going to have to be comfortable playing in front of both goalies and we are.”