This image of Scotty Bowman wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey has, at the moment, an undercurrent of joy and warmth to it. As Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News wrote: "The Wings will miss him, and although it's a sad day for some, this is an amicable parting."
The main storyline in nearly every press account of Bowman's departure from the Detroit Red Wings to the Windy City is that he's doing this for his son Stan, the Hawks' assistant general manager for hockey operations who persuaded him to join the team -- and a man who has battled Hodgkin's Lymphoma, now in remission after a stem cell transplant and radiation. As Kevin Allen from USA Today writes, Stan Bowman's just one of a myriad of comforting connections for Scotty in Chicago:
Another Bowman son, Bob, also works in the city of Chicago, and Scotty Bowman's wife is originally from Illinois. Also, Dale Tallon's father Stan knows Bowman well because when Bowman was scouting for the Montreal Canadiens during the 1960s, Tallon's dad was a regional scout in Quebec for him.
Bowman signed a three-year deal with the Blackhawks and will report to GM Tallon. With the Red Wings, he was an advisor to Coach Mike Babcock and assisted GM Ken Holland in player personnel decisions and playoff scouting. If you're looking for a glimpse into what Bowman might mean to the Blackhawks, Holland's comments to the Detroit Free Press are rather insightful:
"He came in and he drove our players. He made some moves as the director of player personnel to bring in Slava Fetisov. Who is ever going to forget that? ... Who is ever going to forget him putting together the Russian Five? Or Scotty really willing Steve Yzerman to become, in my opinion, the best two-way player in the game? And obviously the championships."
Chicago isn't a championship team; hell, it might not even be a playoff team. But Bowman has the ability to see needs and to fill them with the right player. If Jonathan Toews is going to become Yzerman ... well, the guy who helped make Yzerman's in the building now. At this moment in the Blackhawks' maturation, Bowman is a rather ideal father figure. As Stan Bowman would certainly also tell you ...
(Yuck, that was maudlin. Go read Melt Your Face-Off's photo quiz where they say Babcock looks like a lesbian, and cleanse thyself. And if you need more Bowman stuff, Malik has, like, all of it on Snapshots. )