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Stan Bowman not worried about Blackhawks' goaltending

1/22/2010
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

CALGARY, Alberta -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is happy with his goaltending, but isn’t ruling anything in or out as the March 3 trade deadline approaches.

“We’re going to meet over the next couple weeks and get ready before the roster freeze,” Bowman said before the Hawks hit the ice against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. “I’m sure we’ll meet over the Olympic break as well and see where we’re at then.”

Bowman is aware of the amount of time people spend talking about the Hawks’ goalie situation, but he views it as a strength of the team.

“I’m not worried about our goaltending,” Bowman said. “It’s been our strength all year ... I know we play a good team defense but without solid goaltending we wouldn’t be where we’re at.”

When asked point-blank if he thinks the Hawks have the goaltending to win the Stanley Cup, Bowman said, “Yeah, absolutely.”

As for Antti Niemi replacing Cristobal Huet as the No. 1 goaltender in the playoffs, that talk is premature as well.

“From my perspective, I don’t worry about that now,” Bowman said. “We’re sitting here in January. There is a lot that’s going to happen between now and April. They’ve both played well.”

Bowman reiterated previous statements that salary cap considerations would not dictate moves the Hawks make now, though admitted cap relief and getting a good player in a trade would be a perfect situation.

He also made it clear that chemistry is important but doesn’t override what happens on the ice.

“[Chemistry is] something you have to think about, but at the same time you have to look at what the trade off would be ... Those things all factor into the decisions you make but what the most important thing is what happens on the ice. Chemistry does play into that so you can’t overlook it.”

As for what type of player the Hawks might trade for if they trade, Bowman simply doesn’t know or isn’t stating what the Hawks’ needs will be. He wouldn’t address Ilya Kovalchuk specifically, only in terms of what kind of a player he is.

“We’re going to meet and figure out where it makes sense to add; whether it be that type [Kovalchuk] of player or a different style or a different position. And then at that point we will see what the price is to get that guy if we think its going to make our team better. I’m not going to rule anything in or anything out because we haven’t gotten down the pat that far.”

Bowman acknowledged possibly wanting depth on defense, but he quickly reminded everyone that any team in the hunt probably would like the same. He doesn’t believe the Olympics will wear down Brent Seabrook or Duncan Keith and acknowledged it’s really only “a few extra games.”

Bowman ended the media session saying doing nothing at the deadline is an option as well. Basically all options are on the table, but soon, decisions will have to be made. The time is getting close.