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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 3:51 PM
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

When the Blackhawks hit the ice for the first time this preseason in Saskatoon, there will be twice the Toews of the average Hawks affair, as Jonathan and younger brother David will both be in the lineup for Chicago.

Jonathan, who certainly casts a big shadow for his little brother as far as Blackhawks fans are concerned, says that it will be the first time since he and David were 6 and 4 years old, respectively, that the two have shared a team.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.13.2011 / 5:06 PM
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog


Among the legions of Blackhawks fans, there are few things that are revered more than the Blackhawks’ logo. And if The Hockey News’ recent poll is any indication, much of the hockey world feels the same way.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 4:00 PM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog

When the Blackhawks face off Oct. 7 in Dallas to begin the 2011-12 campaign, is the final score a barometer for the entire season?

The schedule marks Chicago's 85th season in the NHL, and the Hawks are 35-30-17-2 overall in opening games.

The Hawks have made the playoffs 55 times, which includes 28 straight times from 1970 to 1997, second only to Boston's 29 appearances.

Breaking down the difference between home and road openers over 84 seasons, the Blackhawks are
33-30-19-2 on home ice, which includes the 2009 opener on neutral ice in Finland against Florida. Chicago's road tally is 29-42-12-1.

The Hawks have been in 11 opening game shutouts with a 5-6 record. Glenn Hall registered three whitewashes in season-openers, including his first start in a Hawks uniform in 1957 when he blanked Toronto 1-0 at the Stadium. The eventual Hall of Famer did it again to begin the 1965 and 1966 seasons.

In 2006 at Nashville, the Hawks ran up their highest goal output to start the season with
an 8-6 decision over the Predators. Chicago's widest margin was back in 1938 with a 6-1 romp over the New York Americans.

On other side, in 1944, with many young players serving in the armed forces in World War II,
Toronto beat the Hawks at the Chicago Stadium 11-5.

Comparing the seasons when the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, their record is 0-1-2-1. Other Stanley Cup Final appearances saw the Hawks go 3-1-3 in their season openers.

After being admitted to the NHL on Sept. 25, 1926, the Hawks played their first game on Nov.17, 1926, at the Chicago Coliseum with a 4-1 victory over the Toronto St. Pats. The inaugural game at the Chicago Stadium came on Dec. 15, 1929, when the Hawks whipped the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1.

The Hawks opened the United Center in grand fashion on Jan. 25, 1995, with a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

At least statistically speaking, starting off the schedule with a victory usually leads to better results. But there will be 81 more opponents to battle in the regular campaign. 

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POSTED ON Thursday, 09.01.2011 / 2:52 PM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog


Coming off the 2010 Stanley Cup championship and the most successful season ever in terms of points by a Chicago team, the Blackhawks had a target on their sweaters during the 2010-11 season. Opponents wanted to use each game as a measuring stick against the champs, and this was especially true in the first two months when the Hawks lost seven games – five by one goal – on United Center ice. Considering the Blackhawks lost only eight home games the year before, there's no doubt that parity of the league and the salary cap has leveled the ice among the teams.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 08.24.2011 / 3:14 PM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog

Grant Mulvey (Photo from Chicago Blackhawks Archives).


In addition to chicagoblackhawks.com's "10 Impressive Performances" list, here a few more of the most impressive games that can be added to the discussion.

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POSTED ON Monday, 08.15.2011 / 4:10 PM


On October 12, 2000, during the Blackhawks' home opener against Detroit, the team unveiled its 75th Anniversary Team to the United Center crowd before puck drop. Among the honored players were the famed "Party Line" of (L-R) Steve Larmer, Denis Savard and Al Secord, who reunited for one of the first times since their heyday in the 80s.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 08.10.2011 / 10:08 AM
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Adam Clendening was among the 29 U.S.-born players to make the first round of cuts at the World Junior Evaluation Camp.

Blackhawks prospects Adam Clendening and Stephen Johns were among 29 American-born players to make the first cut at the U.S. World Junior Championship evaluation camp. The players who make the final cut will compete to help Team USA win third straight medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Calgary and Edmonton.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 08.10.2011 / 9:08 AM
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog


Any Blackhawks fan will tell you how important captain Jonathan Toews is to the team's overall success, but now it seems that the rest of the hockey world is taking note, as well. In a bracket-style vote on TSN.ca, Toews edged Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos in TSN's "Franchise Faceoff," voted the player under 23 with whom most fans would most want to start a franchise.

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POSTED ON Monday, 07.18.2011 / 10:23 AM
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog


According to Hockey Prospectus, center Marcus Kruger is the best among a top-tier collection of Blackhawks prospects. The 20-year-old Swedish pivot was named the Hawks' top prospect according to the publication, which also named Chicago's system the fifth-deepest in the NHL behind only Detroit, the New York Islanders, Nashville and Ottawa in the first edition of their 2011 rankings.

"The Blackhawks had an elite level of depth prior to the 2011 draft, and then they went on and had one of the best hauls of any team," writes Hockey Prospectus' Corey Pronman. "The Hawks are one year removed from a Cup and looked like one of the better teams in the NHL last season, and unfortunately for the Central Division they aren't going to be done for a long time. Through a couple of trades and shrewd draft picks, Chicago has managed to build one of the league's elite systems that has the chance to deliver several significant pieces to the big club over the next few years. "

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.17.2011 / 12:36 PM
By Bob Verdi - Blackhawks Team Historian / The Blackhawks Blog

There are various ways to judge what transpired during the fourth Blackhawks Convention, but for pure objectivity, you might want to lean on those who attended this annual rite of summer at the Hilton Chicago for the first time.

Sunday morning, after participating in a panel discussion, a number of former players returned to their lounge for a bite to eat and a glance at the British Open. To a man, they were dazzled by the weekend's festivities.

"I really didn't know what to expect, but the whole thing is amazing," offered Tom Lysiak, whose opinion was seconded in more or less similar terms by Michel Goulet, John Marks, Greg Gilbert, Dave Manson, and Adam Creighton. All of those former Blackhawks performed in Chicago, and performed well. They also played elsewhere. Gilbert won three Stanley Cups in New York, for goodness sakes. But all of them, in making their Convention debut, saluted the thousands of fans who filled the building, just as they now pack the United Center during the winter.

Harvey Wittenberg, the famous PA announcer from the Chicago Stadium era, also was on the panel discussion and if anyone is an expert on the history of this franchise, it is he. "The way this organization has turned around, so quickly, is truly remarkable," he said.

Manson, who played in Montreal and Toronto, mused, "sometimes when you're away from it for a while, you forget what a great hockey city Chicago is. I thought I was leaving home to come to some small gathering. What happened here was unbelievable."

At the risk of repeating myself, I will say again what I said shortly after the Opening Ceremony. This year's convention felt like an even stronger confirmation of the connection between the Blackhawks and their fans than last year's, when the Stanley Cup was a most special guest. With the silver jug as an attraction, no wonder the spirit was spectacular one July ago. But the vibes one July later served as proof of a long-term relationship that has been forged among the franchise and its supporters. I think, if the National Hockey League awarded a trophy for mutual admiration and commitment, that trophy would have belonged at the Hilton Chicago this weekend.

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