Chicago’s professional ice hockey team is a member of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They are one of the six original teams of the NHL, alongside the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and the Detroit Red Wings.
Since their inception in 1926, the Chicago Blackhawks have won a total of six Stanley Cups. Frederic McLaughlin originally owned the Blackhawks and was known for being very involved in the team. In 1944, following McLaughlin’s death, the Norris family took ownership of the team. They were are also owners of the Chicago stadium and owned portions of other NHL teams, like the Detroit Red Wings. After James Norris’ passing in 1966, the Wirtz family purchased the franchise. This purchase became a turning point for the organization. Under Rocky Wirtz, the Blackhawks took the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015.
Logo – Frederic McLaughlin’s wife, Iren Castle, designed the Blackhawks’ logo. Though it’s evolved ever so slightly, the logo was voted the best in the NHL by The Hockey News in 2008. Over time, combatting the claim that the logo is racially insensitive, the Blackhawks have diligently partnered with the American Indian Center to engage with the community and show their respect to Native American culture.
Mascot – The Blackhawks named their mascot Tommy Hawk and introduced him in 2001. He’s a black hawk that dons four feathers on the top of his head, while sporting the Blackhawks’ jersey and pants.
Fight songs – Under the ownership of Bill Wirtz, the Blackhawks became the first NHL team to blow a horn when scoring a goal at a home game. Wirtz actually donated the horn from his yacht to the Chicago Stadium, where it quickly became a popular trend among other teams after the 1973 Stanley Cup Finals.
Jerseys – Since 1955, the Blackhawks have maintained the same jersey with only minor updates. The jersey primarily consists of red with three sets of white and black stripes on the sleeves and waist. The logo rests on the chest of each jersey, with a “C” on the shoulders along with two crossed tomahawks. In 2017, fans voted the Blackhawks’ jersey the second-best in the NHL.
The Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup six times. The years include 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, and 2015. Their history is perforated with bouts of wins, even in the unlikeliest times, like their Stanley Cup triumph in 1937, after the worst season record of any team to advance and win the title.
In the 60s, the team experienced a renaissance period, as they had Hall of Fame team members with Bobby Hull, Glen Hall, Pierre Pilote and Stan Mikita all making their way to three Stanley Cup finals. With the firing of head coach Joel Quenneville in November of 2018, the Blackhawks sought after a fresh start. The decision to do so came after the team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in ten years. The future of the Blackhawks is now left to the meticulous decision-making skills of Stan Bowman.
The 2019 season serves as the 93rd season for the NHL. The Blackhawks were eliminated from being contenders for the playoffs in April 2019 – the first time in ten years that the Blackhawks were eliminated from playoffs two seasons in a row. But even though the Blackhawks have had a disappointing 2019 season, fans have still found success in betting the over in their games.
In an exit interview for the season, Stan Bowman and head coach Jeremy Colliton talked about moving forward. They expect to be more active in their free agency this year, utilizing trades as a mode of improvement. Their other goals are to improve their defense to be more dangerous, adding to their offensive dynamics. Whatever their strategies, they undeniably have a positive outlook for 2020.