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Blackhawks Mon Mar 25 2013

Stan Bowman: The Gambler - NHL Trade Deadline

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.png Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is sitting at the poker table, peering over his stack of chips with a grin on his face. Everyone else at the table knows he has a great hand.

No one exactly knows what he plans to do, but the 39-year-old GM is looking to go all in and cash out with Lord Stanley's Cup come June.

With the NHL's trade deadline approaching on Wednesday, April 3 at 2pm, the biggest question isn't if the Blackhawks are going to make the playoffs as the number-1 seed, but with whom they'll be starting throughout. The annual buzz and current front runner is the Calgary Flames' Jarome Iginla. The right winger is 35-years-old and he wants to play for a winner. So much so that he's recently been quoted as saying he would welcome a trade to Boston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, or right here in Chicago.

Iginla would look great in a Hawks uniform, especially on the second line with minimal return necessary in the form of prospects. Once Sharp comes back from his injury, he could easily slip right to center with Kane and Iginla on either side. I'd put that second line up against any first line any day of the week.

Iginla's goals are down this year (9), and his plus/minus number isn't so great (-6), but don't let his season stats fool you. He's playing on a bad team and a fresh start in Chicago would revive the veteran who has scored at least 30 goals every year since the 2000-'01 season.

Other prognosticators have even suggested the Hawks go after more defense for the playoff push. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle is amongst those who are in the mix. He's 28, and has seven years experience in the league. Helping Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and the rest of the back lines with some extra breathing room will be nice down the stretch.

And perhaps Bowman is simply bluffing at the table in hopes that everyone else will over think and out guess each other. Let's not forget that Bowman was under a lot of scrutiny over the last few seasons with the minimal amount of moves he made - or even bigger moves that he didn't make.

TRADE KANE!! Yeah, remember that one? If a majority of fans ran this team, the Blackhawks wouldn't find themselves atop the Western Conference standings with a potential Hart Trophy winner. Instead, it was the level-headed Bowman, who showed patience in this team while making a few key moves that has us all talking about a potential second Cup title in four seasons. Which cards will Bowman play over the next eight days? Hard telling with a chiseled poker face like his.

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