Hawks didn't need to make moves

Team as close to blemish-free as ever

If Stan Bowman spent Wednesday on the golf course instead of on the telephone, all I can say is I hope he broke 90.

There wasn't any reason for the Blackhawks general manager to make a move as the NHL's trade deadline approached.

The Hawks are as close to blemish-free as they ever have been. When losing to many faceoffs is the biggest complaint registered against a hockey team, that's a good thing.

Michal Handzus, acquired in a minor deal with the Sharks, should help remedy that malfunction a bit. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, it's because Handzus was a Blackhawk a half-dozen years ago when the team was merely a rumor.

I expect the Blackhawks to play well in their final 12 games and begin the postseason as the prohibitive favorite in the West.

Marian Hossa has hockey left in him. Good hockey. Hossa's recent absence illuminated how valuable he is on the power play and as a relentless backchecker.

Corey Crawford is good enough to win a Stanley Cup. And if Crawford were to go cold, Ray Emery has proved to be much more than trustworthy as a No. 2 goalie.

Patrick Kane has become the player he was expected to be after winning the Calder Trophy in 2007-08.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook remain elite defensemen. Nick Leddy is emerging as one.

Brandon Saad, who likely was the asking price for any GMs who talked with Bowman before the deadline, is a budding star.

And, lest I forget, the Blackhawks have a largely dependable captain and two-way threat in Jonathan Toews.

Bowman didn't need to make a move. He just needs the roster already assembled to get healthy.

•The Bulls-Magic game Friday is the first of only four remaining regular-season chances to see them at the United Center. Don't get caught standing on shore when the ship is out at sea.

•A friend who has Bulls season tickets found a silver lining Thursday. He said the money he will save on a deep playoff run will ease the burden of a $600 ticket for the Rolling Stones at the United Center on May 28.

•I've seen enough of the Cubs vs. the Pirates already. Only 15 more games between the two.

•Here's hoping White Sox fans who were concerned about the Sox scoring all six runs via home runs in Games 1 and 2 enjoyed Thursday's matinee at the Cell.

•The Bears announced Thursday their exhibition opener will be against the Panthers between Aug.8-11. I hope they can be more specific soon. I can't schedule a fishing trip that coincides with the commencement of the Marc Trestman Era.

Special contributor Dan McNeil hosts "The McNeil and Spiegel Show" weekdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on WSCR-AM 670.

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