Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup

Hawks to be honored at White House

October, 29, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
The Chicago Blackhawks will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington D.C. to be honored for their 2013 Stanley Cup championship on Monday, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks will meet with President Obama at 2 p.m. EST.

The Blackhawks’ visit to the White House will be their second in the last four years. The Blackhawks also traveled to the White House to be honored on March 11, 2011 after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010.

President Obama, who still owns a house in Chicago and is a known Chicago sports fan, appeared to enjoy the Blackhawks’ visit in 2011 as much as the team.

“Now, we have hosted a lot of teams at the White House over the last two years, but this one is a little sweeter,” President Obama said during the ceremony in 2011. “It’s pretty special. That’s because it is the first time as President I get to say congratulations on bringing a world championship to my hometown, the city of Chicago.”

The Blackhawks are also scheduled to visit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and meet with veterans, wounded warriors and their families on Monday.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday he was excited about another trip to the White House.

“It’s a cool day,” Quenneville said prior to Tuesday's game against the Ottawa Senators. “I think everybody gets to enjoy the day. Get to go to Walter Reed in the morning as well. That was a fun visit when we look back. We ran into Wounded Warriors a couple times. Yeah, but when you get to the White House it’s kind of a nice setting. I think it will be one more reflection of a pretty special year for us all. ... That will be a good moment for us.”

Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank wasn’t part of the 2010 Stanley Cup team and was especially looking forward to having his photo taken with President Obama.

“I’m pretty excited,” Brookbank said on Tuesday. “I just want to get that picture on my wall one day with the President. Some of these guys have been there before.

"For me, it’s quite the thrill to go there and just even see the White House and be in the same room as the President. I think it’s something that’s pretty special. Even though I’m from Canada, I still understand what that’s about.”

Blackhawks avoiding Stanley Cup hangover

October, 21, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
Jonathan Toews, Patrick KaneRob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsJonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks are having a better post-Cup start than they did in 2010.

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks appear to be Stanley Cup hangover free.

The Blackhawks were conscious heading into the season they could fall victim to a Stanley Cup hangover, which has in the past come in the form of a rough start to the season for the defending Cup champs. They experienced some of that the season after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, and a short summer this time around also had the potential to trigger a poor beginning.

But after picking up points in seven of their first eight games and building a 5-1-2 record, the Blackhawks feel as if they avoided that hangover and put themselves in a respectable position.

“We’re 5-1-2; that’s a good record to start,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said after practice on Monday. “You got to be happy with that, getting points seven out of eight games and the other game should have had a point in the last 30 seconds.

“The good thing is a lot of us feel we can be better in here, not only team-wise, but personally, too. Hopefully, that’s a good sign of things to come.”

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Blackhawks share Cup day memories

October, 1, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
Patrick KaneJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesPatrick Kane took the Cup to play ball hockey with friends this summer.
The Chicago Blackhawks will move on from their 2013 Stanley Cup season after their championship banner is raised on Tuesday night.

Before they do that, a number of the Blackhawks shared their favorite memories from their day with the Stanley Cup this past summer.

Bryan Bickell
"For me, my passion in the offseason is fishing. So a friend of mine has his own TV show; it's called 'Facts of Fishing,' and his name is David Mercer. It's a big TV show in Canada. I had the opportunity to bring the Cup on the show and fish with the Cup, which was special because I know all the guys around the room would say if I wasn't playing hockey I'd be fishing. There were two parts. The first day we caught fish, but there weren't any with size. We had a Part 2 the next day, and we got big ones."

Brandon Bollig
"I think being from St. Louis and taking it back there and having the Blues being a big rival with the Blackhawks, people were on the fence as to whether to come out. I got a lot of tweets from people that they weren't going to come see it until the Blues won. Then again, you get a lot people saying that's awesome, and they're going to support someone from their hometown and come. I had a lot of people with Blues jerseys and shirts at my public event. It was cool. It was all in good fun. I understand. I'd probably do the same if I was in their position."

Corey Crawford
"I think just spending it with my family. It was special to me because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. They pretty much gave up their lives not only for me, but for me and my brother both so we could play hockey and do that. My parents, they pretty much paid the way for me. Not just me, but my brother and sister have been really supportive throughout my career. It was pretty special."

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Hawks petition to include Mayers on Cup

September, 26, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks were granted permission to have Jamal Mayers' name engraved on the Stanley Cup as part of their 2012-13 championship team despite not meeting eligibility requirements after players and management filed a petition.

During a full 82-game season, players are required to play in half of the regular-season games or appear in one Stanley Cup finals game to be eligible to be on the Stanley Cup. Last season, due to the shortened 48-game season, the requirements were to either play in 23 regular-season game or one Stanley Cup finals game.

Mayers fell short of those requirements after playing in 19 regular-season games and no playoff games.

The Blackhawks unveiled the newly-engraved Stanley Cup on Thursday, and it included Mayers’ name.

“Good for Jammer; I’m happy for him,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Thursday. “He was a big part of our team. We loved what he brought. His experience, his leadership, his professionalism was in the right spot. I’m sure he had a great summer when he got to hoist the Cup and had it in St. Louis. It’s always a proud moment. I’m happy for him.”

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President Obama thanks Sweden for Hawks

September, 4, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
Chicago and its sports teams are never too far off President Barack Obama’s mind.

During Obama’s visit to Sweden on Wednesday, Obama couldn’t help but thank the country for providing a number of its home-grown players to the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

“I should mention on behalf of hockey fans back home in Chicago, I have to say how grateful our championship Blackhawks are for their several teammates who hail from Sweden,” said Obama during a joint press conference with Sweden prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, according to a White House press release. “So that’s been an excellent export that we gladly accept.”

The Blackhawks benefited from having four Swedish players last season. Swedish-born forwards Marcus Kruger and Viktor Stalberg and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya assisted in the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup season. Swedish-born backup goaltender Henrik Karlsson was also on the team’s playoff roster, but did not appear in any games.

Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Oduya and Stalberg all spent a day with the Stanley Cup in Sweden in August.

The Blackhawks will return Kruger, Hjalmarsson and Oduya to their 2013-14 roster and also have five other Swedish players in their system. The Blackhawks selected three players from Sweden in the 2013 draft.

Blackhawks extend Quenneville through 2016-17

July, 26, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks announced a three-year extension for coach Joel Quenneville on Friday.

Read the entire story.

Video: Toews on Hawks' 2nd Cup run

June, 27, 2013
By Staff

Blackhawks bring Cup back to Chicago

June, 25, 2013
By Associated Press
CHICAGO -- The party goes on for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Hours after returning from their 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins, the team has been giving fans a close-up look at the Stanley Cup, hauling their prize around to bars and restaurants around the city.

Read the entire story.

Crawford drawing comparisons to Niemi

December, 9, 2010
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
[+] EnlargeCorey Crawford
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireCorey Crawford has won seven straight games, which has earned him the praise of his coach and teammates.
Just like a season ago, a young Chicago Blackhawks goaltender is beginning to make a name for himself.

With his seventh consecutive win Wednesday night, Corey Crawford has taken over the job from Marty Turco, at least for the moment. He's 8-4 after starting the season 1-4.

"We're enjoying it right now," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Thursday. "Our team has improved as we've gone along here. There's confidence both ways."

The seven wins are the most for a Hawks rookie netminder since Darren Pang in 1988.

"So far, it's a lot of fun," the understated Crawford said. "But [I] have to keep that same mentality and keep working hard. Sometimes when you're winning games, going through the motions could come. The biggest thing is to keep working hard and stay focused."

Quenneville said there are a lot of "similarities" between the soft-spoken Crawford and the man who beat him out a year ago, Antti Niemi. Niemi went on to win the Stanley Cup, though there were those in the Hawks organization who thought Crawford would eventually be with the team last season, and it would be Niemi who would be in the minors.

"I'm sure it was tough not getting a chance last year, but you have to commend him," Quenneville said. "He's patient with it and did what he had to do to keep his game improving, and to me -- for him, it was just a matter of opportunity, and we were fortunate to still have him, and here he goes."

The experience of going with the team to Europe last year to open the season, and then getting cut when the Hawks returned, wasn't easy for the 25-year-old Crawford. But he did learn something.

"Never give up," he said. "It was a bit of a tough time, every time you get cut from the NHL, especially last year. I thought I had a really good chance to make it. I just didn't give up. I kept working hard."

[+] EnlargeAntti Niemi
Jerry Lai/US PresswireAntti Niemi's steadiness and ability to step up big during clutch moments helped him evolve from back-up to starter to Cup-winning goaltender last season. Corey Crawford is showing similar traits.

Perseverance is a lesson Crawford had to learn while playing five seasons in the minors.

It's paid off. He's 20th in the NHL in save percentage (.913) and 13th in goals against average (2.40). It may not sound like much, but those numbers don't indicate his clutch play. Like Niemi last season, when the game is on the line, Crawford has been up to the challenge.

"I do see that calm and coolness to him," Jonathan Toews said. "He's not putting any added pressure on himself. He wants it. You can tell he wants to play well and have that success. He's not biting off more than he can chew."

Crawford switched from forward to goalie when he was nine because of Patrick Roy, and he is just riding the wave of his first successful stint in the NHL.

"It's nice to play in front of this crowd," Crawford said. "It's one of the reasons I play hockey. To play in front of those people and see them cheer."

His teammates are cheering for him as well. He's helped put the Hawks in a better position in the playoff race.

"I talked to him this morning," Toews said Thursday. "I told him, ‘Keep working. Don't worry about any streaks like that. It'll keep going if we keep playing well.'

"Guys like him. He's got a good personality and is a fun guy to have around."

And he keeps on winning.

What's wrong with the Blackhawks?

November, 12, 2010
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
[+] 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."

Happy birthday: Tallon gets Cup ring

October, 19, 2010
Former Chicago Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon received a special 60th birthday present on Tuesday as Hawks president John McDonough presented him with his Stanley Cup ring.

Read the entire story.
Blackhawks ringCourtesy of JostensThe Blackhawks' ring has 8 carats and 404 diamonds.

Blackhawks receive 8-carat Cup rings

September, 30, 2010
CHICAGO -- Whether it was because the celebration was 49 years in the making, or just a matter of personal taste, but the Chicago Blackhawks' eight-carat Stanley Cup championship ring dwarfs its predecessors.

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Patrick Kane
64 27 37 10
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 23
GAAC. Crawford 2.29