The NHL offseason has basically become pretty much every fan laughing at the stupid decisions of GMs across the league, and fans of those teams those GMs preside over trying to sell themselves on others that they weren’t THAT stupid. Some of that has reached these pastures, and maybe some of it is deserved.
It seems to me that possibly every NHL GM just hasn’t figured out how ruthless you have to be in this hard cap. Or maybe they know it, and just can’t bring themselves to do it. Or maybe mechanizations within the organization haven’t allowed them to do so. I think that’s what we’re seeing here with the Hawks and Stan Bowman.
While the Penguins will be used as the model, it’s probably important to remember their three Cups and four finals span three coaches and two GMs. So Jim Rutherford could have looked at the roster he got from Ray Shero and not feel the same attachments. And the Penguins roster from their first champion to the second and third only retains three and a half important elements in Crosby, Malkin, Letang, and Fleury if you want to count him, though he wasn’t supposed to be involved at all for the last two.