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Sunday, January 9, 2011
Hawks set to honor 1961 Cup team

By Jesse Rogers

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.”