Chicago Blackhawks: Who’s The New Guy On Blackhawk Up?

By Colin Likas

Hey, Blackhawk Up readers and ’Hawks fans! My name is Colin, and I’m your newest source for the latest news and reaction regarding the world’s greatest professional sports team, the Chicago Blackhawks.

I want to tell all of you a bit about myself, my Blackhawks/hockey fandom and what you can expect when you read my work on this website. I’m sorry to say you should not anticipate a column from me calling for the return of Brandon Bollig or John Scott. I apologize in advance.

A quick introduction of myself: I’m a 23-year-old almost a year removed from college at Butler University in Indianapolis. I’m currently working at a daily newspaper in Champaign, Illinois. And I’m surrounded by Blues fans.

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On to more exciting things. I first got into hockey when my parents purchased NHL Breakaway 98 for my Nintendo 64 (both the game and console are still in my possession). It was one of my favorite sports video games to play, so I guess I should’ve seen my future love for hockey coming from a mile away. The goalies rarely stopped behind-the-net wraparounds, and Jaromir Jagr was in the game (only with more hair).

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The first Blackhawks game I can recall going to was in 2004 at the United Center. I can only clearly remember three things from that event:

  • The giveaway was a blue Blackhawks hat with a mesh back (still have it)
  • Michael Leighton was in goal
  • The ’Hawks lost

What really kickstarted my hockey and Blackhawks fandom, however, was an NHL PC video game. I played as the ’Hawks pretty much entirely. The team consisted of the likes of Alexei Zhamnov, Steve Sullivan, Eric Daze, Theo Fleury, Tyler Arnason, Mark Bell, Kyle Calder, the late Alexander Karpovtsev and Jocelyn Thibault.

I would destroy opposing players with hits from Daze (little did I know he didn’t do that in real life … and that fans would get upset with him for that) and moan about how slow Karpovtsev was (maybe he was just lazy, right Pat Foley?).

Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

At that point, the 2005-06 lockout was just ending, so I started paying attention to the real Blackhawks. It was a struggle with Dollar Bill Wirtz’s policies, but it would certainly pay off with the drafting of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Boosting my hockey fandom was the fact the Blackhawks rose in the league ranks after I started paying attention to them. The fast pace of games and tremendous skill involved on the ice hooked me as well. By the 2008-09 season, I was watching or listening to every Blackhawks game possible.

I kept my phone on and constantly at hand during Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals — held the night I graduated high school. I was able to catch the overtime frame at a restaurant after the ceremony.

I’ve been to games at the UC and in Nashville (“keep the red out” isn’t working), Dallas and Columbus. I was at Game 1 of the 2013 finals against the Bruins. They stopped serving beer too soon.

Mandatory Credit: Scott Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

So you could certainly say I’m hooked on the Blackhawks and hockey as a whole, and hopefully you’ll see that shine through in my work for Blackhawk Up. I’m willing to touch on pretty much any topic relating to the Blackhawks, and I’ll offer praise and criticism of anyone in the organization.

I watch or listen to pretty much every Blackhawks game, and I always have my eye on league action. I’ll do my best to offer insight and reaction that goes beyond the basics. And if any reader has a topic they’d like to see me write about, I’m all ears.

To wrap this up, I’m extremely excited to be joining the Blackhawk Up team. And, of course, let’s go ’Hawks!

Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

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