Though I’m not sure you can have a staring contest via conference call, if anyone could it would be Stan Bowman.
We know that Bowman hates talking to the media, and even if he did it the only thing he’s good at is saying nothing. His update on a Marian Hossa injury years ago of, “Well he’s on schedule, but there’s no timetable,” being pretty much the perfect example of what we get when Bowman gets a microphone in his face. At best, he’s a master at saying exactly nothing. It was more of it today.
So we’ll get to the top of it, which is that the situation on Corey Crawford is exactly the same. Or more to the point, ain’t nobody sayin’ shit. There’s no update, and if there’s a key quote it’s, “We have no reason to believe that Corey won’t be ready for training camp.”
It’s interesting wording there, because there’s also no reason to believe he will be either. He hasn’t been on the ice, no one’s talked to him, and the Hawks can’t tell us where he is. At least not until the convention they can’t. And at this point it sounds like they’re going to dump this on Crow himself, which is how that phrase plays out.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Hawks have made a face at someone recovering from a head injury, if indeed that is what’s going on here. Jeremy Morin’s career stalled out here partly because the Hawks thought he took too long to come back from a head injury, and thus he wanted to fight everyone when he came back. They started whispering that Dave Bolland was taking too long to come back from a concussion as well, though we all later found out Bolland didn’t have a brain to bruise.
But of course, it might not be just a head injury, as those are the whispers that keep popping up more and more with all this idleness. Which, and we’re just speculating because it’s all we can do, if it is the recovery is entirely up to Crawford. You can’t put a timeframe on something that isn’t a physical injury, one would think, if that’s what we’re dealing with. And again, the “we have no reason to believe” kind of absolves the Hawks of doing anything, not that anyone thinks they’ve done anything wrong here.
It could not be a murkier situation, and maybe the Hawks are counting on everyone counting on it being cleared up at the Convention where Crawford is slated to appear. Except he could come out for his ovation at the opening ceremonies, and then basically not speak to the media from there on out and that would be very Hawks.
At this point, I’m not going to believe that Crawford is going to be at training camp on time, or even the regular season, until there’s reason to. If he were working out, you’d think they’d tell us. If he’s skated, you’d think they’d tell us. Or he has and had to stop. Really any conclusion you draw is not a good one, and we may find out more if the Hawks go out and get not just a credible backup but someone who might be a 1B.
-Other than that, Bowman’s call was a masterclass of being a mushmouth. They may move up in the draft, they may not. They like a lot of guys at #8. They’re trying to improve short-term and long-term. They may trade, they may not. They may sign guys, they may not. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear he was a GM.
With the rumblings of John Tavares staying put the odds of the Hawks making a huge splash went down, because there’s really only one or two other things to make a big splash with. John Carlson really doesn’t make that much sense for how expensive he’s going to be, and James van Riemsdyk probably does. Past that I can’t help you.
Sadly, Stan didn’t take the opportunity to completely rule out signing Slava Voynov, because if you’re an organization that has greatly welcomed and put up a statue of pieces of shit in your past, really why would you? He gave it the boilerplate “we can’t talk about anyone right now” instead of, “God no, I don’t want that fucking scumbag anywhere near the scumbag I already have” but then again no NHL GM has.