Oct 22, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks legendsBobby Hull
(left) andStan Mikita
(right) are honored with bronze statues outside of the United Center before the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
#61- There are no current or former Blackhawks that have worn #61, but never fear this part of the countdown gets some legs at #59!
1961 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks
Penalty Minutes- Pierre Pilote-165
Wins- Glenn Hall-29
The Blackhawks were the picture of inconsistency in 1960-1961 being a very streaky team with long win and losing streaks before finishing in third place. The breakout player for the Hawks in this season was a young Stan Mikita who ended the year with 19 goals and 34 assists.
The Hawks reward for finishing third was getting the privilege of playing the Montreal Canadiens who had won the previous 5 straight Stanley Cups. The Blackhawks shocked the hockey world with a 4-2 series upset of the defending champion Canadiens which included back to back 3-0 shutouts to close out the series by Glenn Hall. In the finals the Blackhawks played a strange 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 series setup and while the home team won the first 5 games the Blackhawks were able to soundly beat the Red Wings 5-1 in Game #6 to clinch the first Stanley Cup since 1938.
While reading all the great names that played for the Hawks in 1961 it’s still hard to believe they only won one Cup. The team was very young just like the 2010 Blackhawks but the young 2010 core were able to validate their championship in 2013 unlike the 61 team.
The 61 team was the team of my father’s generation and he has many great memories of that season. If any of you have memories or stories from 61 please share them in our comment section.
Only 61 days until the 5th Stanley Cup banner gets lifted to the United Center rafters! Please check for our daily updates. We are on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up and Facebook at Blackhawkup.