Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

You’re Interviewing Who!? Examining Two “Final Round” GM Candidates

May 20, 2023, 10:32 PM ET [6 Comments]
Trevor Neufeld
Calgary Flames Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The slow march to the June 28 NHL Entry Draft continues.

A Wednesday like any other for most, June 28, 2023, also represents an internal deadline for hiring a new general manager set by current Interim General Manager and President of Hockey Operations, Don Maloney.

There is no point in sugarcoating the situation — the rumours are troubling. Frank Seravalli had this to say on Friday afternoon.

A few trains of thought there. Let’s start with the obvious one.

You Can’t Be Serious
Craig Conroy and Marc Bergevin are solid candidates in their own right. We’ll get to them in a few days. The other two? Certainly head-scratchers.

Dave Nonis, 56, left Toronto with a massive glut of veteran contracts. David Clarkson’s seven-year, 36.75 million dollar contract was the coup d’état on an odd list of contracts. Phaneuf’s seven-year deal, a broken down Joffrey Lupul getting five years — It may be best to omit his time as the Leafs GM from his resume.

Nonis’ time as general manager of the Canucks wasn’t as bad, although he holds the title of “Worst Trade Deadline as GM” after a rough day on March 9, 2006.

Nonis’ 2006 Canucks Trade Deadline

Eric Weinrich
Sean Brown
Juha Allen
Keith Carney
goaltender Mika Noronen
2007 third round pick

Not much for notable names. What did he give up for these depth players?

2006 second round pick
Islanders’ 2006 second round pick
2006 third round pick
2006 fourth round pick
Tomas Mojzis
Brett Skinner
Steve McCarthy

Upsetting for many fans was that the players brought in played at below the quality of who they were replacing in the lineup. For the sake of brevity, we don’t need to review the career achievements of Juha Allen, but many Canucks faithful were rightfully upset to see that many draft picks being shipped for almost zero on-ice impact.

Stan Bowman is a rough candidate as well. First and foremost, he’s not allowed to work for an NHL club as of today. He needs to be cleared by the league to be admitted to work for the Flames. This is in the wake of the Kyle Beach scandal.

So there’s dirty laundry to that candidate. Many fans are already irate that he’s even being considered.

His work as GM for the Blackhawks is a bit more contentious.

Bowman, 49, and his scouting staff did some seriously strong drafting during the organization’s era of dominance. The 2011 NHL Entry Draft brought in Phillip Danault, Brandon Saad, and Andrew Shaw among other pieces that were later traded to maintain asset value.

When Byfuglien, Saad, Shaw, and so many others priced their way out of Chicago? Bowman found valuable returns. Shaw got two second round picks — one of them being Alex Debrincat. Saad’s trade got back Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano (who was later traded for Andrew Ladd), and Jeremy Morin (who was later traded to Toronto for Richard Panik).

He signed Panarin from the KHL and got him bridged at a 6x2 deal, he managed to keep an adequate goaltender between the pipes for every season of his tenure as GM of the Blackhawks, oh and he has three Stanley Cup rings. Two as the general manager, and one as an assistant general manager.

The bad reputation is obviously due to the scandal he had a part in which should take him automatically out of any consideration — but also the state of the team by the end of his time as GM.

His last big move was the acquisition and extension of Seth Jones.

Well, you could make a case that his last move, in general, was the Flames acquiring Nikita Zadorov from the Blackhawks for a 2022 third round pick, but that might not be big enough to be considered “big”.

Seth Jones really didn’t need to be acquired for 2018 eighth overall pick, Adam Boqvist, first round picks in 2021 and 2022, and a second in 2021. The Blackhawks also received the 32nd overall pick in 2021 as well as a sixth round pick in 2022.

With Chicago’s first round pick in 2021, the Columbus Blue Jackets took Cole Sillinger, who went one pick before the Flames’ Matthew Coronato.

Immediately signed to a 9.5x8 contract, Seth Jones both wasn’t worth that amount but was still good enough to grind the Blackhawks out of a bottom-five placing in the standings in year one, and out of last place in year two.

Although with three wins over the Flames last season, maybe Nazem Kadri deserves more credit than Seth Jones for the Blackhawks finishing 30th.

Four days after acquiring and signing Jones, Bowman brought in Marc Andre Fleury for essentially a contract space in minor league center Mikael Hakarainen.

Perhaps ownership wanted at least a couple of players of interest to draw ticket sales, but giving up an early pick during a rebuild for an overrated, overpaid defenceman has left a bad taste in Blackhawks fans’ mouths.

A final thought on the two aforementioned candidates.

Red Herrings
Let’s include a definition of the term. Per the Oxford Dictionary:

Red Herring; a clue or piece of information that is, or is intended to be, misleading or distracting.
"the book is fast-paced, exciting, and full of red herrings"

It’s very possible that Maloney and Co. are interviewing Bowman, who again, can’t currently be hired, and Nonis, who has a rough reputation already with two Canadian markets, as simply wanting the public to think that there aren’t many solid candidates outside of Conroy.

It seems a little “old boys club” to include the two after Maloney specifically pointed out that he was seeking “somebody younger, progressive — inventive, hockey acumen”, but perhaps there is a greater strategy at play.

Would you be content with either of these two candidates being selected as the Flames’ next general manager?

Trevor Neufeld


Stats via nhl.com, eliteprospects.com and naturalstattrick.com.
Join the Discussion: » 6 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Trevor Neufeld
» A Four-Point Plan to Make the Calgary Flames Enjoyable to Watch Again
» The Trouble With Hiring Dave Nonis as Upper Management — Iginla Brought In
» Report: Flames to Hire Craig Conroy as General Manager
» Could the Flames Steal an Up-and-Coming General Manager From the Oilers?
» Questions Bubble on the Blue Line — Where Does Kylington Slot?