If Stan Bowman was telling the truth when he alluded to "guys like" Brandon Manning being brought in to appease Joel Quenneville because they were "Q's guys" then it looks like his coaches have quite the influence on his decisions.
I really appreciate that Jeremy Colliton is very open and honest with his players. He's stated that from the beginning that he really wants his players to know where they stand on his teams.
Unfortunately for Brandon Manning, he was in "the bad place". Colliton told Manning that he wouldn't be playing much. Manning for obvious reason was not happy about that and hinted that he would be open to a trade.
There were reports that Manning turned down a better offer from Nashville. Boy, he's probably regretting that.
I don't think Manning is a bad dude, he's just not a top 4 defenceman. A top 4 defenceman is what the Hawks needed this off-season. Not a Manning, a Kunitz and a Cam Ward.
It didn't even have to be a bonafide top 4 defender. I was clamoring for Calvin de Haan. Who, the Hawks could have afforded, they just didn't want to give anyone term. Heck, I would have even taken a John Moore or an Ian Cole.
I wasn't alone with this thinking that the need for a better defenceman than bottom pairing was a must. Now, the Brandon Manning era is over.
I posted the question on Twitter:
Bowman fixing some of his mistakes. Does this make him a good GM for admitting? Or a bad one for making these moves in the first place?
I will applaud Stan for attempting to fix these mistakes and make some moves that better sets this team up for success for the long-term.
Going back to the theory that Coach Q, and now Coach Colliton are having their say with this roster; I'm very interested to see how this continues to pan out.
There is some that I've talked to that think that Bowman and Co. are using that as a scapegoat to those moves this summer. Bowman's suggestion that Kunitz, Manning and others over the year were "Q guys" is really weak in my opinion.
Premier coaches like Quenneville and Babcock do have more of a say in roster decisions than most, but ultimately, the way the Hawks operate, it's Bowman(s), McDonough and a few others that evaluate trades/signings. They had a lot of time to prepare for July 1st so their quick signing of the Ward/Manning/Kunitz trio was talked about by all and should not land solely on Quenneville.
Now, moving on to the actual trade:
Chicago Blackhawks acquire: Drake Caggiula and Jason Garrison
Edmonton Oilers acquire: Brandon Manning and Robin Norell
It is pretty evident that Hawks fans are extremely happy that Brandon Manning and his 2.25M contract for the next couple years is off the books.
Robin Norell, who is currently in Sweden will likely never see time in the NHL. He appeared to be a throw-in to me to balance off contracts (Hawks are at 49/50 and the Oilers 47/50).
Manning is from the West Coast (Prince George, BC) so hopefully, a move to Edmonton will help him play to a level where he's an everyday player on that Oilers team.
On the flip side, what are the Hawks getting in Caggiula and Garrison?
Well, with Garrison, I tweeted earlier that he will be this year's Cody Franson and find himself in Rockford helping the IceHogs go on a run in the spring. He's a LHD and would bring a ton of experience. He only makes 650k and his contract expires at the end of this year, so he can be buried in the AHL quite easily.
I've always liked Drake Caggiula. He has some talent and works hard. He's not huge but has a good motor and hockey sense on him. I thought it would have made more sense to acquire the Pickering, ON native when the Hawks had Schmaltz on the roster as they were linemates in UND; however, he's his own person and I'd like to see if he can continue to build off his career year (29 games – 7 goals, 4 assists).
I will now resort to fellow Hockeybuzz-er Sean Maloughney
for his thoughts on this move from the Oilers perspective.
Some quotes include:
"I'm utterly convinced now that Chiarelli is just trying to get fired."
"There were things I did not like about Drake Caggiula's game but he was a top 9 winger who is able to produce."
"Chiarelli is a bad GM."
Soooo… he, along with a lot of other Oilers fans I've seen on the socials are not thrilled with this move and would like Chiarelli's reign as GM to be over ASAP.
What are your thoughts on this trade?
Mailbag article is coming out next. Thanks for all of the questions, there are some good ones in there!
See ya out there!