In Stan Bowman’s first few seasons as GM, there was an aversion to “the big splash.” 2010’s big move was the now deceased Kim Johnsson. The following season saw Michael Frolik and Chris Campoli come aboard, and neither were anywhere near the hottest items on the board. After that Johnny Oduya was the acquisition, and again he wasn’t the big prize at the deadline (though Frolik and Oduya went on to play pretty big roles).
Even in free agency, Stan started out taking the more functional than revolutionary choices, like Montador, Brunnette, Carcillo, and other names that went on to just about nothing for the Hawks.
However, after two first-round exits there was little question Stan was facing just a bit of heat from upstairs. While it didn’t immediately result in bigger splashes, the Hawks certainly made it clear to everyone who would listen that they went after Zach Parise in free agency in the summer of 2012. That was certainly the biggest fish Stan had ever chased.