Heading into the Western Conference finals, one should not underestimate the secret weapon the Chicago Blackhawks have in their front office.
Last summer the young and improving Blackhawks, who will now face their biggest challenge in the Detroit Red Wings, signed a man who could have a huge influence in this series in Scotty Bowman.
This Hall of Famer who went to Chicago as a special adviser and to work with his son Stan, has spent the past 15 years in Detroit, where he won three Stanley Cups as coach of the Wings and one last year as a consultant.
Bowman, who has coached nine Stanley Cup winners and was also involved with two others, left the Red Wings because he could not turn down the opportunity to work with his son Stan, who is the Hawks assistant general manager.
Showing what kind of person he is Bowman, who coached the Montreal Canadiens dynasty of the 1970’s, commented that he doesn’t want to get in coach Joel Quenneville’s way in preparing his young team.
“I know all their (Red Wings) trends and stuff, but at the same time he’s got to run his own stuff,” Bowman said. “You can always get information. You have to process it. That’s basically what you have to do.”
In seeing a Chicago team on a day-to-day basis that many believe will be a force for many years to come, Bowman has admitted to being a bit shocked at how well the players have come together and performed despite their youth and inexperience.
“I’m surprised, but at the same time the experience they are acquiring with each and every game and series is huge,” Bowman said. “I don’t see the team changing a lot. You have to add all the time, but this is a pretty young group.”
Bowman stated that he’s going to stay low during the series by not talking to any of his old Red Wings’ acquaintances and that once again he won’t offer his advice unless asked.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock knows that if the Hawks tap into Bowman as a resource then he can help them quite a bit.
“Scotty is a book of knowledge,” Babcock said. “Number one, he’s got to be willing to share with you and number two, you’ve got to want it.”
Despite having Bowman on their side, the Blackhawks inexperience and youth will show against the experienced Red Wings, who will advance to the finals in five close games.