Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks who until 1986 were referred to as the Black Hawks and who are known colloquially as the Hawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois who play as members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They have won six Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926 when they became one of the “Original Six” NHL teams, with their very latest being in 2015.

 

Their home since 1994, has been the United Center whilst for the previous 65 years, the club had played at the Chicago Stadium.

The team’s colours are red, black and white. The story of the team name is interesting in itself. McLaughlin, owner of the franchise, had been a commander with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I. This Division was nicknamed the "Blackhawk Division" after a Native American of the Sauk nation, Black Hawk, who was a prominent figure in the history of Illinois. McLaughlin named the new hockey team in honor of the military unit, making it one of many sports team names using Native Americans as icons. However, unlike the military division, the team's name was spelled in two words as the "Black Hawks" until 1986, when the club officially became the "Blackhawks," based on the spelling found in the original franchise documents.

The first three Stanley Cup successes were spread out over the years. The first two came close together in 1933-34 and 1937-38, then in 1960-61, but with the upsurge in the organisation and motivation of the team under its current chairman Ricky Wirtz, the Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups, all within the last six seasons (2009–2010, 2012–2013, 2014–2015). They are without doubt a team to watch and a team well worth watching.

 

In addition the Hawks can boast four Conference Championships, two President’s Trophies and no fewer than fifteen division championships. Some great players have been proud to call themselves Hawks and we just have space to honor a few.  Stan Mikita played center and shot right and was one of the dominant forces in the 1961 Stanley Cup victory. Combining skilled defense and a reputation as one of the game's best faceoff men using his innovative curved stick, Mikita led the league in scoring four times in the decade. Denis Savard, seven times a NHL All-Star, would frequently bring the crowd to their feet with his skill. Jonathan Toews is one of the Hawks’ keys to success: he has an array of offensive moves and can score when the Blackhawks need a goal. At the same time he is one of the best defensive players in the league, can dominate in the faceoff circle and is an outstanding leader.

 

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