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7 Fast Facts about the Chicago Blackhawks for New Fans


Tommy Hawk, the Chicago Blackhawks mascot, stands in an excited audience with a "Noise!" sign during a home game.
Chicago Blackhawks mascot Tommy Hawk has been pumping up crowds since his introduction in 2001. Photo credit to Jamie Sabau/USA TODAY Sports

For new hockey fans, understanding the past and present of their team can be overwhelming. From franchise name changes to Stanley Cup championships, current leaders and past legends who created the team you see today, there is a lot to learn to pass the "fair-weather fan" stage.


Hunter felt the same way, so with the help of his wife Em, a long-time Blackhawks fan, they created Hunter Learns Hockey to educate new fans in easily digestible segments. To get you started, Hunter made a list of 7 must-know facts for any new Blackhawks fan.

 

1. Inaugural season - 1926

The Black Hawks, as they were called until 1986, began play in 1926 and joined the NHL in 1942 as part of the Original Six teams. Along with the other five Original teams, the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs, these 6 teams remained the only NHL teams until the first expansion in 1967 that doubled the league's size.

2. Arena - United Center

The outside of the United Center on a sunny day with the Blackhawks statue before a postseason game.
The Blackhawks split time at the United Center with the Chicago Bulls (NBA). Photo credit: Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks moved to the United Center in downtown Chicago, Illinois in January, 1995 following the NHL lockout to start the 1994-95 season. For their first 3 seasons, the Blackhawks played at the Chicago Colliseum, then moved to the Chicago Stadium where they stayed until 1994. Due to the Stadium's smaller-than-regulation-sized rink, the Blackhawks moved across the street into the United Center. Located on Madison Street, the UC is commonly referred to as the Madhouse on Madison by fans, announcers, and foes alike.

3. Fun Fact - Blackhawks named after military division

A portrait of Sauk Chief Black Hawk
"Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiah or Black Hawk, a Saukie Brave," by Alred M. Hoffy and John T. Bowen, from DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University


The Blackhawks are not directly named after Sauk leader Black Hawk. The initial owner, Frederic McLaughlin, named hims hometown Chicago-based team, the “Black Hawks” after the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division. McLaughlin was a commander in this division during World War I. The Division was called the “Blackhawk Division” after the renowned historical leader from Saukenuk, Illinois, Chief Black Hawk.








4. Franchise Achievements - 6-time Stanley Cup Champions

The 2015 Blackhawks team and staff posses with the Stanley Cup on home ice, 7 players holding up the number 3 for their 3rd Stanley Cup win.
The 2015 Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship winning team. This was their 3rd Cup in 6 years and the only one done on home ice. Photo credit: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

Among countless individual achievements, the Blackhawks team has won the Stanley Cup 6 times in their near 100-year history. The last 3 Stanley Cups came in a 6-year span, with the last win happening on home ice in 2015.

  • Stanley Cup Championships: 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, and 2015

  • President’s Trophy (best regular season record): 1991, 2013

  • Campbell Bowl (Western Conference Champions): 1992, 2010, 2013, 2015

5. Head coach - Luke Richardson

Assistant coach Derek King (left) and head coach Luke Richardson (right) are behind the bench at a Blackhawks home game
Head coach Luke Richardson joined the Hawks in 2022 assisted by Derek King. Photo credit to Jon Durr/USA TODAY Sports

Luke Richardson began his first season as a head coach with the Blackhawks for the 2022-23 schedule after spending 4 years behind Montreal's bench as an assistant coach.

Previously, the team was led by interim head coach Derek King after the premature departure Jeremy Colliton. King remains on the Hawks' coaching staff as an assistant.

6. Captains - Jonathan Toews (C), Patrick Kane (A), Seth Jones (A), and Connor Murphy (A)


Captain

Jonathan Toews

Captain Jonathan Toews salutes fans with his ceremonial silver stick at center ice to commemorate his 1,000th regular-season game.
On April 3, 2022 Jonathan Toews was for playing his 1,000th regular-season game. Photo credit to Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Toews (#19) has been captain since July 2008. He became the franchise's youngest captain at 20 years, 79 days, and has become the longest-tenured captain, playing his 15th season with the 'C' on his sweater. In his captaincy, Toews earned 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Olympic gold medals (2010, 2014), the Conn Smythe Trophy (2010), the Frank J. Selke Trophy (2013), and the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award (2015). In 2022, Toews played his 1,000th game, a milestone less than 400 players have ever reached.


Alternates

Patrick Kane

Alternate captain Patrick Kane stands on the ice with his family and teammate Duncan Keith for the pregame 1000th game ceremony.
Patrick Kane is recognized for his 1000th regular-season game on March 23, 2021. Photo credit to David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane (#88), a permanent alternate captain since the 2021-22 season, was part of the Blackhawks’ core winning 3 Stanley Cups, Calder Memorial Trophy (2008), Conn Smythe Trophy (2013), Hart Memorial Trophy (2016), Ted Lindsay Award (2016), and Art Ross Trophy (2016). He also surpassed the 1,000 point and 1,000 games-played marks in 2020 and 2021, respectively.


Seth Jones

Seth Jones (A) stands just inside the blue line with the puck during a home preseason game.
Home alternate captain Seth Jones sports the 'A' on the Hawks' red sweater. Photo credit by Jon Durr/USA TODAY Sports

Seth Jones (#4) sports the ‘A’ as the home game alternate captain and team’s number 1 defenseman. The 3-time All-Star was traded from Columbus to Chicago in 2021 and immediately signed an 8-year contract. Jones was selected for the 2022-23 All-Star weekend in Sunrise, FL.


Connor Murphy

Murphy (A) blocks Cody Glass (#8) of the Nashville Predators in front of the Hawks' net.
Connor Murphy dons the 'A' on the Blackhawks white sweater. Photo credit to Jamie Sabau/USA TODAY Sports

Connor Murphy (#5) serves as an alternate captain on the road in his 6th season with the Blackhawks. He joined Chicago from Arizona in 2017 in exchange for 3-time Stanley Cup champion Niklas Hjalmarsson. In 2021, Murphy signed a 4-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season.



7. Legendary Players


The 3-time Stanley Cup winning core team
Marian Hossa hugs Patrick Sharp during his number retirement ceremony with Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Brent Seabrook on the left and Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews on the right.
The 3-time Stanley Cup 7 core players unite again for Marian Hossa's (#81) number retirement ceremony at the United Center. Photo credit to David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

Seven Blackhawks players remained with the team through all 3 Stanley Cup wins: Jonathan Toews (Captain), Duncan Keith (A), Brent Seabrook (A), Patrick Sharp (A), Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa (number retired 2022 as pictured), Niklas Hjalmarsson. Also, important to note is Corey Crawford who joined the Blackhawks in the 2010-2011 season, backstopping the final two Cups for Chicago.


Historic

With the Blackhawks being nearly a century old, many players have made a lasting impact on the franchise.

Forwards

Stan Mikita

A picture of the Stan Mikita statue stands in solitude on a snowy winter night.
Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita's life-sized bronze statue has guarded the United Center since October 2011. Photo credit to David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

Stan Mikita, captain, (#21), was the best overall franchise player whose tribute statue stands outside the United Center. Mikita’s the only player to win the Art Ross, Hart, and Lady Byng Trophies in a single season, not once, but twice consecutively in 1966-67 and 1967-68.

Denis Savard

Savard, wearing his red Blackhawks sweater, waves to the crowd at the Original Six contribution ceremony.
Blackhawks legend and captain Denis Savard also served a brief stint as the Hawks head coach. Photo credit to Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports


Denis Savard, captain, (#18) set and broke his own franchise points record at 131 points, later becoming an assistant then head coach for the Blackhawks. After splitting 4.5 seasons between Montreal and Tampa, Savard returned to Chicago in 1995 for his final 3 seasons.












Steve Larmer

Larmer is centered, changing directions with Wings defender Steve Chiasson in the background.
Steve Larmer, alternate captain, skates against the Detroit Red Wings at the Chicago Stadium. Photo credit to Lou Capozzola/USA TODAY Sports

Steve Larmer, alternate captain, (#28) played 11 seasons which the Blackhawks racking up 884 consecutive regular-season games, during which he scored at least 70 points each season.

 

Defensemen

Chris Chelios

A picture of Chris Chelios early in his Blackhawks career, plays the puck during a home game sporting the alternate captain 'A' on his sweater.
A staple team leader throughout the 90's, Chelios was named captain following the 1994-95 lockout, a title he retained until his trade to Detroit in 1999. Photo credit to Lou Capozzola/USA TODAY NETWORK

Chris Chelios, captain, (#7), “The Godfather of USA Hockey,” played in 4 Olympics (1984, 1998, 2002, and 2006) and 9 of his 26 seasons with his hometown Chicago Blackhawks, retiring at age 48. What’s more impressive than Chelios’ lengthy career was his leadership to change team cultures, 11 All-Star team appearances, and 3 Norris Trophy wins.

 

Goaltenders

Glenn Hall

Glenn Hall was a stepping stone to the Blackhawks' success, ending a championship drought, and exemplifying the level of goaltending excellence Chicago came to expect in future goaltenders. Photo credit to TGC Topps Gum Cards, 1963 Topps Glenn Hall, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1963_Topps_Glenn_Hall.jpg

Glenn Hall (#1), called “Mr. Goalie,” completed 502 consecutive regular season games and 50 consecutive playoff games, split between his previous time in Detroit then Chicago. Hall backstopped the Black Hawks to a 23-year drought-breaking Stanley Cup championship in 1961, all without wearing a mask.

Tony Esposito

Esposito, number 35, stands ready in front of the net decked in old goaltender gear, included just the face mask.
Tony Esposito joined Chicago after being the #3 goaltender in Montreal and exceeded the franchise expectations set by predecessor Glenn Hall. Photo credit to Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports



Tony Esposito (#35), nicknamed “Tony O”, filled big shoes at Glenn Hall’s successor. Secured for just $25,000 from the Monreal Canadiens, Esposito holds the franchise record for the most shutouts and wins over 15 seasons with Chicago, earning 3 Vezina Trophies.














If you're interested in learning more about iconic players from each franchise, stay tuned for our next series, "Old Players for New Fans." There we'll dive deeper into franchise legends, their role in building the team that takes the ice today, and the lasting impact they have on players and fans alike.

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