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April 26, 2012 | 10:03am ET
Bowman admits to poor goaltending

According to ESPN Chicago, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman admitted his club's goaltending did not meet expectations this season, though he refused to say he would be looking for an upgrade in the summer.

However, with the Hawks missing the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season, Bowman did not exclude anything to solve his team's post-season woes.

"Our goaltending in general was not our strength," Bowman told "I don't think it's fair to lay the blame on one player. You win as a team, you lose as a team. I think we need to be stronger defensively and that includes our team commitment to defense, not simply the goaltending and not simply the defensemen."

"You don't rule anything in or out," he added. "We're always trying to improve our team."

Meanwhile, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, who is expected to return behind the bench next season, left the door open for bigger changes.

"You have a nice core here, a nice group of guys here," he said. "They give you a chance every year to win a championship. Whether it's a tweak or you want to do more than that, but that's something good to talk about."

As for Quenneville's assistants, Bowman mentioned that coaching changes would be up to Quenneville, though he made it clear that the special teams' play was unacceptable this season.

While many inquired about the Hawks' search for a second-line center, Bowman appeared committed to Patrick Kane, who shifted from the wing towards the end of the season.

"Our team's best record, and it coincided with Patrick's best performance, was when he was in the middle," Bowman said. "Patrick carried our team the last month or five weeks of the season. He kind of put us on his back and got us into the playoffs. He stepped up and was our No.1 center for all those weeks. ... I think the notion that he can't play center or isn't good at center has been dispelled. Not only did our team play well when he was in the middle, he played well. He had his most productive time when he was there."

When asked about the possibility to look for a center during the off-season, Bowman quickly added that "Kane in the middle is certainly better than any other center that's available."

Regarding the team's free agents, which include Andrew Brunette, Brendan Morrison, Jamal Mayers, Sean O'Donnell and Sami Lepisto, Bowman would not elaborate on the odds of bringing them back, though he stated that not all of them would be returning.

Meanwhile, forward Marian Hossa, who was hit by Phoenix Coyotes winger Raffi Torres in the first period of Game 3 and was subsequently taken off the ice on a stretcher, is not expected to have lingering issues from the head injury he suffered.

"We're very optimistic that he's going to be back," Bowman said. "We don't approach that any differently than a different injury. We're here in April and training camp doesn't open until September. That's a lot of time to be rested and prepared and training in the offseason."

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