Team Profile: The Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have made quite the name for themselves recently, winning three Cups in six years. Especially after such a long drought without a Cup before the one that started it all in 2010. An Original Six team, the Blackhawks have quite the history.

Brief Overview:
Western Conference
Central Division
Established: 1926
Arena: United Center
AHL Affiliate: Rockford IceHogs
Owner: Wirtz Corporation
Coach: Joel Quenneville
Notable Former Players: Al Secord, Chris Chelios, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard,
Current Captain: Jonathan Toews
Goalies: Corey Crawford, Scott Darling
Notable Current Players: Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa

Interesting facts:
Frederic McLaughlin named the team the Blackhawks in honor of the military unit, the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division, he commanded in World War I that was nicknamed the ‘Blackhawk Division’. The team name was spelled as two words, Black Hawks, until 1986 when original documents of the team name were found and it was spelled as one.

One of the first widely known sports ‘curses’ resulted from a disagreement between McLaughlin and Pete Muldoon at the end of the first season. Jim Coleman, a sportswriter, reported that McLaughlin believed the Black Hawks could have finished their first season in first place instead of third. When Muldoon disagreed, McLaughlin fired him. Coleman reported that Muldoon proceeded to yell, “Fire me, Major, and you’ll never finish first. I’ll put a curse on this team that will hoodoo it until the end of time.” The Curse of Muldoon was born from this event, and though Coleman later admitted he had made the whole incident up, the Black Hawks would win three Cups in 39 years, but never finish first in either the single or multi-division platform they experienced during that time.

In the 1947-1948 season, Blackhawks’ goalie Emile Francis used a modified first baseman’s glove in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. Though Jack Adams, the coach of the Red Wings at the time, protested this, commissioner Clarence Campbell let the usage stand, altering the equipment used by goaltenders permanently all around the league.

In 2004, the Blackhawks were named the worst franchise in professional sports, largely due to several policies implemented by Bill Wirtz who was owner at the time. These policies that angered fans from the 90s to the mid-2000s included Wirtz not allowing home games to be televised to the local area because it was ‘unfair to season ticket holders’ and raising the average ticket price to $50.

Rocky Wirtz, who succeeded his father in 2007, drastically changed his father’s policies, first by allowing home games to be aired locally. He also focused a lot of his effort on rebuilding the team, centering a lot of that on Jonathan Toews (drafted in 2006) and Patrick Kane (drafted 2007).

2010 was the Blackhawks first Cup since 1961. It was the seconded longest Stanley Cup drought at 49 years, behind the New York Ranger’s drought of 54 years (1967 to 1994)

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