Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup championship

NHL preview: Hawks primed to repeat

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
12:05
PM CT
Burnside By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com
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With two Stanley Cup championships in four years, the Chicago Blackhawks are flirting with terms like "dynasty." But history tells us that the ultimate feat, repeating as a Cup champion, remains very much a long shot. Not since 1997-98, when Detroit went 2-for-2 in Cup wins, has a team been able to repeat. Still, there is much to like about this Blackhawks team's chances of cashing in again next June, starting with a core of skilled veterans still in their prime, including captain Jonathan Toews, playoff MVP Patrick Kane, underappreciated forward Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and defensive anchors Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

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Toews, Cup get warm welcome in Winnipeg

July, 19, 2013
7/19/13
7:08
PM CT
By Associated Press
ESPNChicago.com
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Jonathan ToewsAP Photo/The Canadian Press/John WoodsBlackhawks captain Jonathan Toews shows the Stanley Cup to Cameron MacDonald at the Jonathan Toews Community Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews brought the Stanley Cup home to Canada and was greeted by hundreds of fans upon his arrival.

Toews showed off the famous trophy on Friday during a public celebration, and then spent private time with his family.

Hundreds of people lined up for several hours in blazing heat to meet Toews -- and admire the Cup -- at a community center named after the NHL star.

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Shaw on NBC interview: Slip of the tongue

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
12:42
PM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
ShawAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhAndrew Shaw's emotions spilled over after scoring the winning goal in Game 1.
Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw, who scored the game-winning goal in triple-overtime of the Stanley Cup finals opener on Wednesday, joked about not being very good in English after dropping what appeared to be an F-bomb during a live postgame, national television interview.

"Slip of the tongue," said Shaw, who was interviewed on the United Center ice by NBC's Pierre McGuire. " I was exhausted. I couldn't think at all, actually. Could barely breathe. I think I made up a word in there, too. Was never good in English, but ... it just shows how much heart our team has, and we push each other to our limits."

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Blackhawks set to opening training camp on Sunday

January, 12, 2013
1/12/13
11:02
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Blackhawks announced details to their upcoming season on Saturday night after the NHL lockout had officially ended.

The Blackhawks will open their training camp at Johnny's IceHouse West (2550 W. Madison St.) in Chicago at 12 p.m. on Sunday. Blackhawks practices at Johnny's IceHouse West are open to the public.

The Blackhawks did cancel their training camp festival due to the condensed schedule. Tickets purchased on the internet and phone will be automatically refunded. All other refunds can be made at the point-of-purchase or by returning the tickets to the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks begin their season in Los Angeles against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings on Saturday, Jan. 19. The Blackhawks will host their home opener on Tuesday, Jan. 22 against the St. Louis Blues.

Tickets for the upcoming regular season can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or at (800) 745-3000. Fans holding tickets for originally scheduled games will be contacted with further information. Fans can also visit chicagoblackhawks.com or call (312) 455-7000.

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough co-signed a letter to the fans on Saturday night. It read:

"On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks, we would like to thank you for your patience and loyalty over the past few months. It is imperative that we now look forward in order to prepare and to focus on the exciting season ahead.

"We are committed to a mission of consistent excellence, both on and off the ice. This high standard fuels our passion to reward your allegiance to our franchise. We are looking forward to experiencing the electric atmosphere and energy that you bring to the United Center for every game."

Blackhawks games will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9 this season. Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk will announce the television games. The games will also be heard on WGN 720-AM, which will include the announcing team of John Wiedeman and Troy Murray.

Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks have exited the playoffs in the first round the past two seasons. They were eliminated in seven games by the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 and in six games by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012.

2010 Hawks to fill void with charity game

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
8:43
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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video

CHICAGO -- It wasn't that long ago that Adam Burish, Patrick Sharp, Brian Campbell, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were on a stage answering questions from the press during the Blackhawks' run to the 2010 Stanley Cup. The five reunited Wednesday to officially announce a charity hockey game -- "Champs for Charity" -- that will take place Oct. 26 featuring members of that team and other NHL players unable to play due to a work stoppage.

[+] EnlargeChicago Blackhawks
AP Photo/Kathy WillensMembers of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks -- along with others unable to play because of the NHL lockout -- will reunite Oct. 26 in the name of charity.
"We want to give fans that are starving for hockey something to watch and we want to give back to this charity," former Hawk Burish said from the Ronald McDonald House on Grande Ave.

They'll do just that when they take the ice at the All-State Arena in what the players hope is more than just a leisurely skate.

"To put together a competitive game was the idea," Burish said.

That idea came from Burish and his agent, Bill Zito, who spoke of his own personal situation involving a family member who had recently been hospitalized for a long stay. They want the Ronald McDonald House to benefit, knowing what families go through in caring for sick ones. Their goal is to raise $250,000.

"I didn't know what my plan was, to play (in charity game) or go overseas," Kane said. "I'm excited about it."

Kane said he was close to signing in Europe but that's on hold now because of the game and potential movement in CBA discussions, though players were more than cautious regarding the latest proposal from the league.

"As long as they don't think it's their final drastic attempt to salvage an 82-game season," Toews said. "If they were that desperate to preserve an 82-game season and get things done, this would have be done already. There's no real effort there. It's just a ploy to sway a positive light back in their favor. It's still a small movement but hopefully it's something we can work off of."

Toews said he will fly to Toronto on Tuesday night to assist in negotiations within the players association. In the meantime, other members of the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Hawks will prepare for the charity game.

"He's looking forward to playing on a line with me," Burish quipped of good friend Sharp.

"I think it's a pretty good coincidence Great Clips is the main sponsor of the game," Sharp shot back to the raggedy-haired Burish.

This kind of back-and-forth was -- and still is -- a signature of the 2010 championship team. It will always be linked, and now many will take the ice together for the first time since leaving it with the Cup in Philadelphia that June.

"It's a great group," Campbell said. "It's nice to get together with one another. It'll be fun to get back in the locker room."

Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg and others will join their former teammates for the game while Burish says others will commit as the game gets closer. It'll be a diversion from the business side of hockey which has dominated the headlines during a lockout which began in mid-September. And it will benefit a charity while bringing together an iconic team that fans fell in love with.

"It's a great opportunity to get the guys back together but it's for the fans more than anything," Sharp said. "Some of the guys from the Cup team haven't even had a chance to come back and play against the Hawks so it will be nice to get those guys out. ... No one cares about Burish, we've had enough of him. You saw at the press conference, guys are excited to get back together and make fun of each other just like we used to."

Tickets for "Champs for Charity" can be purchased at Ticketmaster.

Another trip to Philly, still no Cup-winning puck

January, 6, 2012
1/06/12
6:36
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and forward Patrick Kane didn’t exactly send out a search party upon arriving in Philadelphia Wednesday evening, but they did discuss the infamous missing puck which Kane shot past former Flyers goalie Michael Leighton to win the Stanley Cup finals in 2010.

They still wonder where it went after Kane scored and pandemonium erupted.

“I was trying to find some information but came up with same answer, nobody knows,” Quenneville said before his team’s 5-4 loss to the Flyers on Thursday.

After several investigations since that night, June 9, 2010, most believe linesman Steve Miller had at least a hand in its disappearance. Pictures show him reaching for the puck after Kane scored.

“Who knows,” Kane said. “From what I heard the linesman had it last and brought it off the ice. After that who knows what really happened. Hopefully it’s not in the garbage or demolished somewhere. Hopefully it shows up at some point and time.”

Danny Briere is one of a handful of Flyers left from the team that lost to the Hawks in six games. The garbage is about where Briere would like the puck to be.

“I haven’t seen it around here and I don’t care much for it to be honest,” he said smiling. “It’s probably in the trash somewhere.”

So the mystery continues. The puck that ended the Hawks’ 49-year drought has to be somewhere, but it’s anyone’s guess where.

Cup memories: Hawks return to scene

January, 4, 2012
1/04/12
9:32
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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Patrick KaneAP Photo/Matt SlocumPatrick Kane returns to the scene of his Cup-winning goal on Thursday when the Hawks take on the Flyers in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA -- Heading back to Philadelphia for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 is bound to bring back some emotional memories for Chicago Blackhawks’ players who are still with the team.

Nine players and two coaches remain from that championship squad and when they take the ice at the Wells Fargo Center it’ll be for the first time since June 9, 2010 when they hoisted the cup by night’s end.

Before leaving for Pennsylvania on Wednesday, three players were asked their initial thoughts in returning to a place undoubtedly etched in their memories forever.

Patrick Kane


He scored the most famous Blackhawks’ goal in 49 years, winning Game 6 in overtime and ending the series. Such an iconic moment in Chicago isn’t as easy to recall for Kane as you might think.

“The obvious answer would be the goal but to be honest with you that whole thing is blacked out from my memory,” Kane said. “The only thing I really remember about that when I watch the replays is the celebration on the ice and in the locker room after. That was something very special. I had four buddies down with my family, all your teammates, all the people that are close to you in the organization. It was a fun moment. And a great couple weeks after, too.”

Kane was pressed on why he can’t remember details of his most famous moment as a professional hockey player.

“I guess you can’t believe it’s something that happened to you,” he said. “Surreal is a good word. I don’t remember making the move or shooting the puck, maybe running down the ice a little bit to [goalie] Antti Niemi. After, I remember looking for my family and my buddies on the ice. It all seemed like it happened so quick.”

Jonathan Toews


The Hawks’ center is part of a small fraternity of hockey players who get to touch the Stanley Cup first when the commissioner of the league hands it to them moments after the game ends.

“I had a solid five seconds before I handed it off to [Marian Hossa] but it was a good five seconds, and I made sure I had a little skate with it later on,” he said. “But to be the first to hoist it was awesome.”

Toews thinks memories will start flowing back as soon as the Hawks reach their hotel.

“Just being back in that locker room, we’ll have some old stories we can tell,” Toews said. “I’m sure the new guys are sick enough about hearing all that stuff. They’ll have a couple more days of it I guess.”

Niklas Hjalmarsson


He was finishing his first full year in the NHL and it came to a close with a career highlight moment -- hoisting the Cup. Hjalmarsson was asked his initial thoughts of being back in Philadelphia for the first time since that night.

“Happiness,” he said. “It’s pretty much the only word. Explosion. Just a bunch of feelings coming up at the same time. It was a pretty cool feeling that you definitely want to experience at least one more time.”

Hjalmarsson thinks he’ll feel it most when the Hawks gather Thursday morning for practice at the Wells Fargo Center.

“It’s probably when you’re entering the arena,” he said. “We had good feeling last time we were there. We won. Hopefully we can bring back those feelings and memories and have a good game in there.”

Linesman to resume playoff duties

April, 29, 2011
4/29/11
8:52
PM CT
Drehs By Wayne Drehs
ESPNChicago.com
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An 11-year NHL linesman who had been temporarily removed from working playoff games while contending with questions about the missing puck from last year's 2010 Stanley Cup final will resume his duties next week in Tampa Bay, the league confirmed on Saturday.

Steve Miller, 38, was not included among the officials assigned to work the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, according to the list made public by the NHL on Friday.

But on Saturday, Gary Meagher, the league's senior vice president for public relations, told ESPN that the matter is now "closed."

Read the entire story.

Barack Obama honors Blackhawks

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
7:23
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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WASHINGTON -- Almost nine months to the day the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup championship, they were honored at the White House by a fellow Chicagoan, President Barack Obama.

The team had a private tour of the White House before a backyard ceremony.

"I have to say, even by Chicago standards, 49 years, that's a pretty long time," Obama said in his speech. "To put that in perspective, the last time the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, a movie cost 69 cents. JFK had just moved into the White House. I was still in diapers."

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Obama to honor Hawks' Cup title

March, 3, 2011
3/03/11
10:54
AM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
President Obama will host the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday during a ceremony at the White House.

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San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi signed a four-year extension at nearly $4 million per year, according to a source familiar with the situation.

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Hawks set to honor 1961 Cup team

January, 9, 2011
1/09/11
5:09
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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Before the Chicago Blackhawks drop the puck against the New York Islanders on Sunday at the United Center, they will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1961 championship team.

No less than eight players from that team will be on hand, including greats Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Glen Hall.

“I think it’s been cool,” coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. “It’s been great visiting back in the past and listening guys talk about ‘in the day’.”

Quenneville said he’s glad the Blackhawks Stanley Cup drought didn’t reach 50 years. Last year’s team took care of that.

“The first thing you think about is 49 years between Cups is pretty remarkable, and these guys give you good memories,” he said.

Only seven months have passed since the Hawks most recent championship, so it’s hard to conceptualize a 50th anniversary, though plenty of players from last year’s team should be around. They were one of the youngest in the league.

“It’s a great idea, but I don’t think I’m going to make the cut, unfortunately,” Quenneville joked.

And Quenneville is confident it won’t take another near half-century to bring the Cup back to Chicago.

“I can’t,” he said. “No I can’t. I think very positively it won’t take that long.”

What's wrong with the Blackhawks?

November, 12, 2010
11/12/10
4:17
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeBlackhawks
Bill Smith/Getty ImagesJonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook aren't used to watching opponents celebrate as much as they've done this season.
What's wrong with the Chicago Blackhawks?

It's a question that's permeated the NHL as the Stanley Cup champs have stumbled off to an 8-9-1 start, which puts them fourth in the Central Division.

Roster turnover and a short summer have contributed to the slow start, according to various scouts and league personnel.

"I think the bigger issue that hasn't really been talked about in depth, since the season started, is that this is a different team than last year," an Eastern Conference scout said. "They have the same Blackhawk jerseys, but there were a lot of changes that were made."

Because of salary cap constraints, the Hawks dealt 10 players who figured into last season's success. Several of the departed were key players, including Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, John Madden, Kris Versteeg and starting goaltender Antti Niemi.

Hawks general manager Stan Bowman insisted after almost every transaction that he was keeping the core intact. But so far, the mix isn't working to maximum efficiency.

"When you look at the names that are not here compared to last year, it's a considerable difference," the scout continued. "One of the problems I've seen so far is getting the puck out of their own end. In today's game, you have to get the puck up to your forwards and move ahead, and when you are struggling to do that, you pay the price in your own end."

Doing some scouting for Anaheim now, former NHL great Scott Niedermayer knows what it's like to win the Stanley Cup and feel the pressure the following season. He's a four-time Stanley Cup champion.

"You definitely learn a lot," Niedermayer said. "Especially the first time you go through a long Stanley Cup run. That takes a lot out of you.

[+] EnlargePatrick Kane
Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty ImagesThe adrenaline that flowed for the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals is gone, and trying to find that same motivation level is a major challenge.


"You do have to prepare real quick to get back at it, and all these teams are not going to give you a night off. They're going to be hungry and at you every night."

Interestingly, Niedermayer said getting over the physical issues a short summer presents isn't as bad as other potential problems.

"They are in a different mental position this year," he said. "No doubt about it. You need the rest. You need the mental breaks as well. A lot of those guys didn't get it."

While youth works to the Hawks' favor for long-term success, it could work against them in the short term.

"The Hawks are different than my Detroit teams, or even Montreal team that won it," former Blackhawks star and current Red Wings executive Chris Chelios said. "They are young. They might be overwhelmed a little bit with the expectations. I was on older teams. It's really tough to stay on top."

Repeating is so hard that Niedermayer is most impressed with a team he played on that fell short of the ultimate goal.

"The first time [1995] we won in New Jersey, we missed the playoffs the following year," Niedermayer explained. "The second time we won in 2000, we got back in to the Stanley Cup finals, and I thought that was a great accomplishment. We lost in a seventh game, and to be that close again and to answer those challenges, that was a great thing."

It's not only hard to repeat as champs, just getting back to the playoffs the following season isn't always guaranteed. It's happened more than once to Cup champions, most recently to the Carolina Hurricanes after they won it in 2006.

Chelios said one of the keys in repeating is something that's already eluded Chicago.

"In Detroit, for the decade I've been here, we've expressed how important it is to get off to a good start," Chelios said. "It remains to be seen if they can get over the hump."

And it's not just the new Blackhawks who have struggled. Reigning Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith found himself benched for a few shifts recently.

Chelios and Niedermayer are former Norris Trophy winners who have watched Keith up close.
Niedermayer won an Olympic gold medal with him this year while Chelios played in the same division as Keith since he entered the league.

They've never seen a player coming off a Stanley Cup run log the ice time of Keith, who leads the league at just under 29 minutes.

"I would judge it by how the player plays, and he skates a lot [as a mobile defenseman]," Niedermayer said. "You add all those minutes with how he plays, that's a lot."

The Eastern Conference scout agrees.

"He's proven to be a workhorse, but that's almost too much to ask of a player," he said. "Especially over an 82-game season."

Those minutes are probably the main reason coach Joel Quenneville split up his Olympic duo of Keith and Brent Seabrook. Now he can spread out the playing time as he did Wednesday night against Phoenix, in their first game apart.

"I talked to some guys in the league last week and they were saying how much of this is a hangover and how much of this is getting used to new players," the scout said. "It's probably a combination of both. There are high expectations, and you have to understand the pressure that is on you."

Part of the pressure is to just be as motivated as last season, when Olympic excitement and playoff intensity kept the Blackhawks' adrenaline flowing.

"That's a big part of it for sure," Niedermayer said. "When you are in the rink for an Olympic game or Stanley Cup game, the intensity, the emotion, the excitement is maxed out. When you get to training camp, and preseason, and then the regular season, it's pretty quiet, pretty low key.

"They don't have the same excitement, and it's your job as a professional to be mentally ready. And it's not easy."

Ex-Hawk Eager: I don't have Game 6 puck

November, 5, 2010
11/05/10
2:26
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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ATLANTA -- It remains a mystery.

The game-winning puck, from last season's Stanley Cup-clinching Game 6 overtime win by the Chicago Blackhawks, is still missing.

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Buff, other ex-Hawks get rings in Atlanta

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
9:37
AM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Chicago Blackhawks vice president Al MacIsaac was in Atlanta on Friday to present several former Hawks players and an assistant coach their Stanley Cup rings.

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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26