Like Father, Like Son


The Blackhawks have always had a special place in my family’s home.  My parents used to go to games when they were dating and became season ticket holders after they got married.  I have great memories of going to the Chicago Stadium with my dad as he took my sister and I to many games.  My dad is one of the few people in the United States that buys the NHL Center Ice package every season.  He loves hockey, and he will watch it at any time, no matter who is playing.  One of my biggest thrills was the first time I was able to take my dad to a game on my season tickets.  It is a memory I will never forget.

The Blackhawks have had their fair share of father/son combinations throughout the years.  You can start at the very top of the organization when it comes to father/son legacies.  Owner Rocky Wirtz is a third generation executive.  His grandfather Arthur Wirtz bought the Chicago Blackhawks in 1954 and ran the team until his son, Bill Wirtz, took over.  Of course the Blackhawks still have the father and son tandem of Scotty Bowman and his son, general manger  Stan Bowman in their front office.

There have been many father and son combos to play on the ice as well.  Maybe the most successful father/son duos in the history of the game started in Chicago with Bobby Hull.  Bobby is the all time goal scoring leader in franchise history and only Stan Mikita has more points than his 1163.  His son Brett Hull, even though he never played in Chicago, had a Hall Of Fame Career himself.  He outscored his legendary father and racked up 741 career goals and 1391 points while playing for Calgary, St Louis, Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix.  They are the only father and son pair to both win the Hart Trophy in NHL history.

Former Blackhawks player and head coach, Darryl Sutter is a proud father of Brett Sutter who has played 34 career games between Calgary and Carolina.  In fact, Darryl drafted him back in 2006 when he was the general manager of the Flames.  Darryl Sutter scored 161 goals in 406 games for the Blackhawks.  Darryl’s brother, Brent Sutter, won 3 Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders before coming to Chicago in1992.  He played in 417 games for the Hawks and had 219 points during his time with the team.  His son Brandon Sutter is currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes after being drafted 11th overall in 2007.

The Blackhawks have a had a couple of father and son duos who both played in Chicago.  Pat Stapleton played in 490 games for the Blackhawks between 1965 and 1979. Pat was never a goal scorer, only scoring 10 goals in a season once, but he was a good setup man.  He had 50 assists in 1968-69 and had at least 30 assists in all but one season with the Hawks.  His son Mike Stapleton played the first 125 games of his NHL career for the Hawks between 1986 and 1992.  Mike was never an offensive threat but did have a long career that lasted until 2001 with stops in Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Phoenix, Atlanta, the Islanders and Vancouver.

Dave Creighton played 49 games in Chicago during the 1954-55 season where he scored 7 goals and had added 7 assists.   Dave played for two thirds of the original six by playing in 616 games for Boston, Toronto, the Rangers along with Chicago.  In December of 1988 the Blackhawks traded Rick Vaive to the Buffalo Sabres for Dave’s son Adam Creighton.  Adam put together a couple of good seasons in Chicago including a 34 goal season in 1989-90.  He was traded to the Islanders with Steve Thomas in 1992 as part of the deal that landed Brent Sutter.  Creighton resigned with the Hawks prior to the 1996 season after stops in Tampa Bay and St Louis.