The Blackhawks are off to a great season. They are 4-1-2 for 10 points, tying them right now with the Detroit Red Wings for first place in the Central Division and fifth place in the Western Conference. Patrick Sharp leads the team with 7 points followed by Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland with 6 points. The 2010 Stanley Cup Champions are poised to make another run at a second title. In that spirit, I have created a list of the first team all-time Blackhawks.
At center is Stan Mikita. He played for the Blackhawks from 1958-1980. He accumulated 546 goals, 926 assists for 1,467 points which ranks him 14th all-time in points. He scored a career high 40 goals in the ’67-’68 season and 97 points a year later. He won the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1967 and 1968. He also won the Art Ross Trophy for being the leading scorer in 1964, ’65, ’67 and ’68. He was also named to the NHL first team from 1962-64 and 1966-68. He was a part of the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship team and was elected to the Hall-of-Fame in 1983. He currently serves as an ambassador to the Hawks.
Considered by many to be the greatest left winger of all-time, “The Golden Jet” Bobby Hull played for the Hawks from 1958 to 1972. Hull scored 610 goals, 516 assists for a total of 1,170 points. He scored 50+ goals five times including a career high 58 in the 1968-69 season, adding 49 assists for 107 points. He won the Hart Trophy in 1965 and 1966, won the Art Ross Trophy in 1960, ’62 and ’66. He was named to the NHL first team ten times (1960, ’62, ’64-’70, and ’72). He was a part of the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship team and was elected to the Hall-of-the-Fame in 1983. He also currently serves as an ambassador to the Hawks.
Steve Larmer makes this list as a right winger. He played for the Hawks from 1980 to 1995. For his career, he had 441 goals, 571 assists for a total of 1,012 points. He scored 40+ goals five times, 90+ points twice and 100 points once. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s Rookie-of-the-Year and named to the NHL Rookie Team in 1980.
Chris Chelios and Pierre Pilote are the top defensemen all-time. Chelios, a Chicago native, had a +/- ratio of +20 three times and scored 73 points in the 1992-93 season and 72 points in 1995-96 season. He won the James Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 1993 and 1996. He played in the All-Star game nine times while he played for the Hawks. He was also on the U.S. Olympic hockey team, winning the silver medal in 2002. Pilote played for the Hawks from 1955 to 1968. He accumulated 80 goals, 418 assists for a total of 498 points. He won the Norris Trophy from 1964-66. He also was on the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship team. Pilote was inducted to the Hall-of-Fame in 1975.
Goalie Tony Esposito rounds out the Blackhawks first team. He played for the Hawks from 1969-1984. He won the Calder Trophy in 1970 and won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie in 1970, ’72 and ’74. He won 423 games along with recording 76 shutouts, including 15 in his rookie year, which is still a record in the modern era. He was an All-Star six times and was named to the NHL first team All-Star three times. His 423 wins ranks 7th on the all-time list. Esposito was elected to the Hall-of-Fame in 1988 and currently serves as an ambassador to the Hawks.
Here are the honorable mentions. At goalie, Glenn Hall (’57-’67) with 275 wins and 106 shutouts and Ed Belfour (’88-’97) with 201 wins and 56 shutouts. At center, Denis Savard (’80-’90 & ’95-’97) with 1,096 points, Pit Martin (67-’77) 627 points and Jeremy Roenick (’88-’96) with 596 points. Right wingers Tony Amonte (’94-’02) 541 points and Bill Mosienko (’42-’55) 540 points. Left winger Doug Bentley (’39-’51) 531 points. And finally at defense, Doug Wilson (’77-’91) 779 points and Bob Murray (’75-’90) with 514 points.
Which one of our current Hawks will one day crack this list of great players? One day we’ll know.