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Flames GM Search: Just Say No To Stan Bowman



Calgary Flames Chicago Blackhawks Scandal NHL Stan Bowman

Sometimes, you have to hope the source is wrong. The Calgary Flames being named as “one of the teams interested” in former Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is one of those cases.

In a recent discussion about Gerard Gallant being fired by the New York Rangers, and the possibility the Blueshirts could look to the tarnished Joel Quenneville as a replacement.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman pivoted to the vacant GM spots and suggested another ex-Blackhawks banishment – Bowman – was being bandied about by both Calgary and Pittsburgh.

For a Calgary Flames franchise that just fired coach Darryl Sutter because of a cultural issue, the idea of bringing Bowman and all his baggage to town would be a huge mistake. Especially in the wake of reports they’re blocking Brad Treliving from interviews until his contract ends.

We don’t even need to get into the hockey side of things for this one to debate the merits of Bowman’s work with the Blackhawks. It’s all about optics and energy. It’s about the vibes, as the cool kids say (I think). By firing head coach Darryl Sutter before his two-year extension even kicked in, the Flames made a massive statement about protecting their players from a negative environment.

It was about winning, no doubt, given the fractured results of the franchise this season, and the determination that many of the key players in place here were in favour of a change in coaching.

But it was also about the culture. And after the burial of the Kyle Beach situation by the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s unfathomable that a team like the Flames would consider bringing Bowman on board.

Bowman stepped down from the Blackhawks front office in October 2021 after the exposure of the scandal. He explained his regret over assuming his reporting of “potentially inappropriate behaviour” to the then-CEO John McDonough.

Step one, identify a problem. Step two, tell someone about it. Step three, forget about it, apparently.

It’s not the accountable leadership the Flames need at a critical time, with ticket-buyers tired of perennial mediocrity and an opportunity for a clean slate and energy — at the leadership level if not in the locker-room.

Give the fan something oozing with positivity. Like Craig Conroy. Or one of the young, talented minds helping teams like the Caroline Hurricanes become the class of the Eastern Conference.

Anything but a retread with baggage.

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100% this. Someone new with fresh ideas, the same hopefully for the new coach.

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