Tuesday's NHL: Scotty Bowman moves on from job as Blackhawks adviser

By John Wawrow and Stephen Whyno
Associated Press

Scotty Bowman has left the Chicago Blackhawks after what the Hall of Famer said was a difficult year.

Bowman announced Tuesday he no longer works for the organization as of July 1, saying he decided it was time to move on after 14 years as the Blackhawks’ senior hockey operations adviser.

Scotty Bowman says he no longer works for the Blackhawks as of July 1, 2022. The Hockey Hall of Famer and former Red Wings coach had been a senior hockey operations adviser since 2008.

Bowman’s son Stan stepped down as general manager in October after an independent investigation into the team’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2010 revealed he knew about the situation.

“It was a pretty uncomfortable year because of Stan’s thing, getting let go, and I stayed on for the year and tried to keep going as much as I could, which I think I did,” Bowman told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It’s been a good ride. I mean, you don’t get the chance to work with your son all the time. Naturally you have your differences of opinion, but I got to know the personnel on the team, and it was a good ride to be able to see this team develop and everything else.”

Bowman, the former Red Wings coach who turns 89 in September, said he left the organization on good terms. He’s not closing the door on another job in the NHL but isn’t looking for work immediately. He plans to continue his routine of splitting time between his homes in suburban Buffalo, New York, and Sarasota, Florida, which allows him to make appearances in the press box at Tampa Bay Lightning games.

“You have to keep busy,” he said. “The game has changed so much, you know? It’s so fast. The line changes, the players change so quick now they probably change twice as fast as in my day, so it’s a different game, but it’s still in my blood.”

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame 31 years ago, Bowman won the Stanley Cup a record nine times as a coach, leading the Montreal Canadiens to the championship in 1973, ’76, ’77, ’78 and ’79, the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and the Red Wings in 1997, ’98 and 2002. Counting his four titles as a member of a front office, including three with Chicago in 2010, ’13 and ’15, his 14 are second-most in league history behind Habs great Jean Beliveau’s 17.

Another championship seems far away for the Blackhawks.

Kyle Davidson replaced Bowman on an interim basis in the fall and was given the full-time GM job after a lengthy search. Davidson is now in charge of a major teardown of the roster, which has already included trading young forwards Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach and letting Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik leave rather than tendering them qualifying offers to retain their rights.

The big question now concerns the future of franchise cornerstones Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who have a year left on their respective contracts.

“It’s a discussion that we’re going to have to have,” Davidson said last week at the NHL draft. “We’re honest and told them what could happen. And we’re going to have to potentially make some changes. So there wasn’t any deception in that. But it’s real now. There’s a discussion that’s going to have to happen. They’re aware of what we expect of them and why we want them around.”

Keith retires

Family brought Duncan Keith to Edmonton after a stellar run as the backbone of the Blackhawks’ defense.

And following a season with the Oilers, family is why Keith feels he’s in a good place to end his NHL career after 17 seasons, three Stanley Cups and two Norris Trophy awards as the league’s top defenseman.

Keith announced his retirement, at times fighting back tears during a news conference as he thanked teammates, coaches and family members for helping him along the way of his Hall of Fame-caliber career.

Keith will turn 39 on Saturday, and said there’s a noticeable change in how he’s felt in recent postseasons. That, coupled with the desire to spend more time with his son Colton, helped him reach a difficult decision.

In his final season, he put up 21 points (one goal, 20 assists) over 64 games with an average ice time of nearly 20 minutes. He added a goal and four assists in 16 playoff outings as the Oilers made it to the Western Conference final for the first time since advancing to the Stanley Cup series in 2006.

Keith was selected by Chicago in the second round, 54th overall, in the 2002 NHL draft. Keith went on to anchor a Blackhawks blue-line that won the Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015 after piling up 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) in 23 games and won Norris Trophy as top defenseman in 2010 and 2014.

Keith finished his career with 106 goals, 540 assists and 675 penalty minutes over 1,256 games.

Personnel dept.

Evgeni Malkin is returning to the Penguins after all, sticking around on the eve of free agency hours after the goalie carousel kept spinning around the NHL.

Malkin signed a $24.4 million, four-year deal that counts $6.1 million against the salary cap through 2026. He had as recently as Monday told the team he was testing the market.

Before Malkin stole the headlines by re-signing, the Wild added another shift to the NHL’s offseason goalie shuffle when they traded Cam Talbot to the Senators for Filip Gustavsson.

The Senators had an opening after dealing Matt Murray to Toronto. The Wild intended to bring back Talbot in the same timeshare with Marc-Andre Fleury they used down the stretch on the way to the best regular-season record in franchise history, but general manager Bill Guerin changed his mind five days after re-signing Fleury.