Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Set The Bar For Excellence In Chicago

By Josh Brink

Oct 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; A general shot of the Stanley Cup banners prior to a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Islanders at the United Center. Chicago won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

As of late the Chicago Blackhawks have become the poster sports team for the city of Chicago. For the past several years the Chicago Blackhawks franchise has pieced together a solid core of players that have helped earn consecutive playoff appearances where they won 2 Stanley Cups in 4 years. As a result they have also rewarded their player’s success and paid out larger contracts to them. With all of these factors put together the Chicago Blackhawks have forced other sports teams in Chicago to aim for excellence and they have begun to follow suit in pursuit of Championships.

This year the Chicago Blackhawks locked up the faces of the franchise, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions that were well deserved. In prior years they have also retained players such as Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, and Corey Crawford with nice multi-year deals and good pay. When the team is doing well and bringing in revenue they are able to go out and pay for valuable pieces in free agency, however there are some limits and strategy in building the organization with the draft and trades.

The Chicago Cubs were the most recent team to reach out into the free agency market to try and lure one of the best pitchers in the league onto their team with a multi-year deal worth mega millions. The Cubs were the winners of the highest bid and inked Jon Lester to a 6 year, 155 million deal. Earlier in November the Chicago Cubs signed one of the top managers in the league, Joe Maddon to a 5 year, $25 million contract. They have acquired the core players via their farm system and trades but are now filling in the final pieces they may need to reach excellence. The Chicago Cubs are hungry for a title and want to put the superstitions to rest.

Before the hype of the Joe Maddon and Jon Lester signings from the Cubs, the Chicago Bulls were also in the top running for several elite players just a few months ago. The Chicago Bulls still live in the shadows of Michal Jordan’s 6 Championships and have been trying to find that right combination to win a Championship during the new ear. Their most recent search was for a right hand man to ease some of the pressure off the frequently injured Derrick Rose. There was an extended effort to lure Carmelo Anthony to the Bulls with a special presentation by the organization during his visit and pitches from Coach Thibodeau, Jokim Noah, and Derrick Rose. That fell through however when he resigned with the Knicks. The Bulls moved on to another big name though and were able to lure former NBA Champion Pau Gasol to a contract for 3 years, $22 million. It wasn’t exactly who they were looking for but they knew they needed additional pieces to make their team better.

The more Championships the teams in Chicago begin to win will have a direct effect on the competition between the markets as top team in Chicago. This in return will bring in bigger crowds, better players, and a lot more enjoyment. The Chicago Blackhawks definitely have a lot to smile about during recent years winning 2 titles before any of the other teams have won 1. So the Chicago Blackhawks have now set the bar for excellence in Chicago and continue to compete for the “Dynasty” recognition the Bulls were once able to call themselves. The Bears, Cubs, and Sox on the other hand, just want one!