How Stan Bowman sees Blackhawks managing goalie situation in NHL 2020-21 season

Scott King
·2 min read

How Stan Bowman sees Hawks managing goalie situation originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

NHL teams are required to carry three goalies for the 2020-21 season, which makes the Hawks' situation between the pipes all the more interesting. 

In the offseason, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, now also the president of hockey operations for the team, said the Hawks would be going with a youth movement in net. The franchise is letting Collin Delia, Malcolm Subban and Kevin Lankinen battle it out in training camp, which begins Jan. 3, to see who will emerge as the Hawks' starter.Delia, 26, is 7-5-3 with a 3.65 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage in 18 games with the Blackhawks across the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. He's spent the majority of the past three years with the IceHogs.

Lankinen, 25, is yet to make his NHL debut. He went 8-10-2 and had a 3.03 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage with the Hawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs last season.

Subban, 27, went 9-7-3 with a 3.18 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 20 games for the Vegas Golden Knights last year before getting traded to Chicago at the Feb. 24 deadline. He hasn't started a game for the Hawks yet.

So after a goalie pecking order emerges from camp, what will the team do with the third goalie? 

Bowman answered that very question on the latest episode of NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks Talk Podcast during the exclusive interview on Wednesday.

"In general, just a general rule, you want your goalies to be getting some action, particularly young goalies. Not playing at all is not good," Bowman said on the podcast. "Practicing is important and necessary, but only practicing probably doesn't help anyone, goalies in particular. So we will monitor that.

"You have to have three goalies with you at all times, it was part of the rules and protocols (for 2020-21), you can't really swap guys out all the time because there's (COVID-19) testing. So there's some challenges to shuttling guys often. ... We'd like to try to get all three of these goalies playing, whether it's a rotation in the NHL . . . there's a lot of games in a short amount of time. So I think both goalies are certainly going to play, even all three can get in the mix in the NHL. And if not, the American League is an option too."

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