M. Spencer Green/Associated Press
Few teams have a management team as strong as the Blackhawks do with Stan Bowman filling the general manager's position and Joel Quenneville behind the bench.
Bowman was faced with a huge task when the Blackhawks hired him to replace fan favorite Dale Tallon. The Blackhawks already had their core talent in place, thanks to Tallon's drafting of of superstars like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, but he had also botched the salary cap by giving huge contracts to role players.
Bowman's job was to make the harsh player moves to cut payroll, but also keep the team as competitive as possible.
He aced the test. After the Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup, he got rid of fan favorites like Dustin Byfuglien and Antti Niemi. The team suffered first-round playoff defeats each of the next two seasons, but came back to win the Stanley Cup last year. Few general managers could have managed that feat.
At the same time, Quenneville has given the Blackhawks strong, steady leadership behind the bench. He is a teacher, strategist and a motivator. He seems to excel at making key line changes at crucial stages that give the Blackhawks an advantage over most opponents.
The tandem of Bowman and Quenneville remains strong and their future looks bright.