Blackhawks chicago


Saturday, June 20, 2015 Michael Shayler

An estimated two million fans gathered this past Thursday to help celebrate something that seems to have become a common theme in Chicago the past few years, a Stanley Cup championship.

This most recent championship has put the Blackhawks into the NHL elite. Accumulating three Stanley Cup victories over the past six seasons has made this team the latest dynasty in sports.

Captain Toews raises the Stanley Cup during the rally at Soldier Field. image courtesy of

Not since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997,1998 and 2002 has the NHL seen a run like this.

For the Blackhawks, moments like this have been a long time coming.

For the most part of the 90's and 2000's, the Blackhawks were bottom dwellers of the NHL, making only one playoff appearance from the 1997-98 season through the 2007-08 season.

In the age of the salary cap, what the Hawks have been able to do is unprecedented. Every off season there seems to be a key player from the previous year's success who is either traded or released for salary cap relief.

Over the years we've seen the departure of such fan favorites as Dustin Byfgulien, Andrew Ladd, Martin Havlat,  Antti Niemi, David Bolland, Troy Brouwer, Nick Leddy, Brian Cambell and Kris Versteeg (who would eventually return).

No matter who is brought in to replace said departed player, they always seem to fit the mold perfectly of what this organization is looking for. There seems to always be that low key veteran signing/trade that settles right in and becomes successful with the Hawks.

Whether its recent acquisitions such as Johnny Oduya, Brad Richards, Antoine Vermette, Kimmo Timmonen, or even rookie call up Teuvo Teravainen who seemed to make the big plays when it counted in this latest championship run. No matter who is called upon, each player fits right in and does their job.

That's another part of the on going success of the franchise, everyone seems to know their roles. The Hawks always play as a team, even sometimes seeming to pass the puck too much trying to make that perfect play.

So how was this dynasty built?

It all started during the 2005-06 season with an under the radar trade with Philadelphia acquired an unknown LW by the name of Patrick Sharp.

2005-06 also saw the beginning of the Duncan Keith/ Brent Seabrook era, with Keith making his debut after being the 54th pick of the 2002 draft and Seabrook the 14th overall pick in 2003.
Duncan Keith is presented the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP. Keith has been with the organization since 2002. image courtesy of
2003 also brought along the drafting of Goalie Corey Crawford, although he would bounce back and forth between the Blackhawks and their AHL affiliate the Rockford Icehogs before taking over the goaltending reigns for good during the 2010-11 season.

In 2006 the Hawks had the number three pick in a draft that saw Sydney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin go one and two and decided to take the thrid best player of that draft, Jonathon Toews, or the captain.

2007 saw the Blackhawks own the number one pick and strike gold again by selecting Patrick "Showtime" Kane.

In 2009, the Hawks made a lucrative signing at 12 years and $62.8 million dollars for a veteran who was coming off back to back loses in the Stanley Cup Final, RW Marian Hossa.

These core players that have made it through the constant face lift of the team have been so vital to this teams success that no other player was deemed "untouchable".

The players will always receive most of the credit but behind the scenes, this organization is amongst the strongest in all of sports.

First and foremost, chairman Rocky Wertz deserves credit for going against his fathers beliefs and broadcasting home games after seasons in which the team chose to only broadcast a few select games a year. Wertz Sr. believed fans should attend the games live.

Long time rival/ Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman is a senior advisor of hockey operations and brought his 50+ years of strong hockey knowledge to our side. His son Stan Bowman is the Hawks General Manager, and in 2010 and 2013 he became the first GM to win two titles during the salary cap era.

From President and CEO John McDonough to the training staff, this organization runs as smooth as any other franchise is sports.

The coach isn't too bad either. Coach Joel Quinnville is only one of two men to play more than 800 games and coach in more than 1,000 or more games in NHL history. He is also the active coaching leader in wins and is third all time in coaching victories overall.

This off season is sure to bring many more changes, including a more than likely trade involving Sharp, but if history is any indication, the front office is sure to make a right decision.

With the combination of the core players and the front office's willingness to shuffle the roster in a successful way, there is no telling how long this franchise can continue from it's on going success.

The Blackhawks blue print for success has them on top of the NHL world. image courtesy of

Sorry Detroit, the Chicago Blackhawks are the new standard in the NHL.

At this rate the Wertz family may have to consider building a new stadium, as the amount of championship banners and retired player numbers could become too much for the Madhouse to handle.

As we come to the closing of yet another magical season, it's only fitting that instead of a goodbye, we as fans look at it as a "see you next time" as this will not be the franchises last encounter with the Stanley Cup in the years to come.

Fun fact of the day: The last time the Blackhawks closed the Stanley Cup Finals out on home ice (1938), the Cubs made it to the World Series.....  

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