‘Hawks open for business: “We’re looking to improve our team through trades”
With the ‘Hawks sitting fourth in the Central Division, sixth in the Western Conference and 20th in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.82), Bowman made no bones about his team needing to improve — especially on defense.
“I think there’s room for improvement” Bowman said. “We’ve had a good first 50 games for our group. We’ve put ourselves in a decent position going forward.
“We’re looking to improve our team through trades, but as you can see, there’s not a lot happening on that front. A lot of talking, but I think it will speed up a little bit as we get closer to the deadline. But right now, it’s a wait-and-see approach, and trying to find answers from within.”
Finding answers from within hasn’t been easy on the blueline. The ‘Hawks have missed the contributions of Brian Campbell (traded this offseason to Florida) and struggled to round out their top-six. Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Nick Leddy, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador have all been regular fixtures in the lineup, but Montador only plays 15 minutes a night and the No. 6 spot has been a revolving door. Sean O’Donnell, Sami Lepisto, John Scott and Dylan Olsen have all had a turn, each with limited success.
It’s something Bowman recognizes as he looks to fill out the defense.
“We’ve got eight defensemen with us right now who I think all can play,” he said. “We’ve got a couple kids in the minors whom we’re high on and could also contribute, but if you’re looking for that proven NHL defenseman, that’s something we have to look at.”