With the 2012 NHL draft looming this weekend, Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman kicked off what should prove to be a busy week. For Bowman, the first step was addressing some internal issues.
The 'Hawks announced the signings of forwards Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig and Carter Hutton to contracts. Chicago also added by subtraction, ending their agreement with Alexander Salak by releasing the 25-year-old goalie.
These are all small but positive steps by the organization. Bowman retained some role players and got rid of a malcontent in one fell swoop.
With Monday's action, I would guess that the organization is passing on RFAs Chris DiDomenico and Simon Danis-Pepin. Bowman can now concentrate on any pre-draft wheeling and dealing he plans on attempting.
Let's look at each of these moves and what they mean to the 'Hawks.