Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman listens during a news conference Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Chicago. The Blackhawks have given general manager Bowman a three-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charles Rex Arbogast
CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks have given Stan Bowman a three-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season, rewarding the NHL's youngest general manager with more opportunities to bring home another Stanley Cup championship.
The 38-year-old Bowman is entering his 11th season with the Blackhawks and third as the head of team operations. The team won the Stanley Cup two season ago, snapping a 49-year drought, and Bowman has been key in locking up Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford to long-term deals.
"It's quite an honour," Bowman said. "I feel very proud to be a member of this organization. We've come an awful long way."
President and CEO John McDonough announced the contract extension Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.
"We're very, very proud of the job Stan has done," McDonough said. "I've seen his confidence grow personally and professionally.
"Stan is a winner, he's a tireless worker."
Last year, the Blackhawks' bid for a repeat ended in a seven-game Western Conference quarter-finals series with Vancouver. Bowman said he's optimistic about the 2011-12 Blackhawks, who open the season Friday at Dallas.
"The hunger factor is absolutely there with our guys wanting to come back and get to the level we were the previous year," Bowman said. "You look at some of our big guys that played big minutes last year, they've had excellent training camps and seem fresh and ready to go."
The newcomers include Andrew Brunette, Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers, along with Rostislav Olesz.
Bowman, the son of legendary coach Scotty Bowman, joined the Blackhawks in 2001 as a special assistant to the GM and was promoted to director of hockey operations four years later. In 2007, he was named assistant general manager and two years later was named general manager before his promotion to vice-president and general manager last September.
Also on Tuesday, the Blackhawks said they had agreed to terms with 18-year-old forward Brandon Saad on a three-year contract. Saad, who drew praise in training camp, was selected by Chicago in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2011 entry draft in June.