While the Chicago Blackhawks have been on a downward slope these past few seasons, the team was a dynasty in the early 2010s, winning three Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015. Hopefully, the team can regain their championship pedigree once the NHL season starts again. While we wait (im) patiently for sports to come back, let’s take a look at the legends whose presence on the ice brought so much joy to Chicago hockey fans.
Patrick Kane: The star right-winger has spent over a decade earning a reputation as one of the best ever to play for the Blackhawks. With three Stanley Cup victories on his resume, Kane and his partner in crime Jonathan Toews formed a dynamic duo that blazed through the league raking up points and wins for Chicago. Selected as the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, the remarkably productive Kane has won the Calder Memorial Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, and the Ted Lindsay Award since becoming a rookie sensation. The player responsible for the game-winning goal in the 2010 Stanley Cup, which ended a 49-year championship drought for the Blackhawks, continually rakes up All-Star and MVP honors thanks to his slashing style of play. This past January, Kane scored his 1,000th point, becoming only the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish that feat.
Jonathan Toews: Alongside Kane, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is one of the leading players responsible for the Blackhawks’ success of the early to mid-2000s. Selected third in the 2006 NHL Draft, Toews won Rookie of the Year. The following season he became the second-youngest team captain in NHL history at the time for the team. The center, nicknamed “Captain Serious,” is more of a grinder than finesse player, earning the respect of hardcore Chicago hockey fans. His gritty style of play contributed heavily to the team’s three Stanley Cup wins. Strong at moving the puck with a deadly wrist shot, Toews no-nonsense style of play has made a lasting impression as he was voted as one of the 100 greatest NHL players of all time.
Bobby Hull: When more than one player on the opposing team is assigned to cover you, there is no doubt that you are a force on the ice. Such is the case for Hall of Famer Bobby Hull. Possessing uncanny speed and top-notch skills, Hull helped the Blackhawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup. The two-time MVP and three-time scoring leader owned a 118-mph slapshot and is considered amongst many to be the NHL’s greatest left winger of all time. His total of 604 goals scored for Blackhawks remains a team record to this day.
Stan Mikita: It’ll take Kane and Toews a lot more time to come close to Mikita’s record of 1,396 games played for the Blackhawks. The legendary center also just happened to score the most points in Blackhawks history with 1,467 and leads the list for all-time assists on the team with 926. Together with teammate Bobby Hull, Mikita helped the team win the 1961 Stanley Cup. The rest of the 60s saw Mikita leading the NHL in scoring four times. One of the greatest faceoff men in league history, Mikita was a nine-time All-Star and entered the Hall of Fame in 1983 after playing over 20 years in a Blackhawks uniform.
Notable mention: Denis Savard, Chris Chelios, Steve Larmer, and Tony Esposito.
Tune in next week as we take a look at the greatest players throughout the history of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
ERIC KAPLAN AND DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO