Chicago Blackhawks: 90 Days Until Banner Raising


We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again.  In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner on October 7th season opener against the New York Rangers.

We have come to #90 in our countdown and what do you know, not a single player in Chicago Blackhawks history has ever worn #90.  I’m sure it will happen soon as young players look for numbers to wear that haven’t been worn yet.  Just look at Conner McDavid who will wear #97, I remember how strange it was when Mario Lemieux wore #66 and Wayne Gretzky wore #99, but today any number can be taken.

Since there are no career numbers of a player to review let’s take a look at Chicago Blackhawks All-Time Goalie wins which if you look back at last season, Corey Crawford made a huge jump up the leaderboard, especially in playoff wins which he now is tied with Hall of Famer Tony Esposito with 2 more Stanley Cups to his name.

Regular Season Wins

  1. Tony Esposito-418
  2. Glenn Hall-275
  3. Ed Belfour-201
  4. Corey Crawford-145
  5. Jocelyn Thibault-137
  6. Murray Bannerman-11
  7. Mike Karakas-114
  8. Charlie Gardiner-112
  9. Nikolai Khabibulin-91
  10. Denis DeJordy-90
  11. Al Rollins-81
  12. Jeff Hackett-63

Playoffs Wins All-Time

  1. Corey Crawford-45 (2 Stanley Cups)
  2. Tony Esposito-45
  3. Ed Belfour-35
  4. Glenn Hall-21 (1 Stanley Cup)
  5. Murray Bannerman-20
  6. Antti Niemi-16 (1 Stanley Cup)

The most under appreciated player on the current Chicago Blackhawks roster has to be Corey Crawford, but you look at all the goalie records in franchise history (and there have been some great goalies in team history) Crawford’s name keeps rising higher and higher up the ranks.

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I’m pretty sure I put Kris Versteeg at #90 of the greatest Blackhawks of all-time to get some controversy or comments going.  He’s one of the few players in Chicago Blackhawks history to hoist the Cup two times now.  Here’s what we said about him going into last season.

"Kris Versteeg’s Chicago Blackhawks StatisticsGames – 233Goals – 54Assists – 76Points – 130+/- – +31Kris Versteeg is the Grover Cleveland of our beloved Chicago Blackhawks by serving two non-consecutive terms on the Hawks. Versteeg aka Steeger was drafted 134th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. While still in the minors, Versteeg would be traded to the Blackhawks before the start of the 2006-2007 season.While playing with the Rockford IceHogs during the 2007-2008 season Versteeg made his NHL debut with the Hawks when he was called up for a total of 13 games, tallying 2 goals and 2 assists.Versteeg played his first full season with the Blackhawks in the 2008-2009 season, one of his signature achievements being scoring the opening goal in the 2009 Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field. Steeger ended the season as a Calder Memorial Trophy nominee (he lost to Steve Mason). During their historic run for the Cup in 2010, Versteeg played an integral role in ending the Blackhawks’ near 50 year Stanley Cup drought, notching 14 points in 22 games in the playoffs. Steeger would make his mark on the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade by singing an altered version of LMFAO’s “Yes” to the throngs of Hawks fans on Michigan Avenue.Unfortunately Steeger was one of the Hawks that fell victim to the Great Blackhawks Roster Purge following the 2010 Stanley Cup win. Vertseeg was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for several forwards, Viktor Stalberg being one of them. For the next several years Steeger would bounce from the Leafs to the Philadelphia Flyers, and then to Florida Panthers to reunite with former Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon.Then in November of the 2013-2014 season Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman surprised everyone by making a trade that brought Steeger back to Chi-Town. Hawks fans initial reaction was nostalgia-steeped elation.Unfortunately, Versteeg’s reunion season with the Blackhawks turned out to be severely underwhelming, as his presence was hardly felt during the regular season and even less so in the playoffs. This offseason, Steeger’s sub-par performance has even gotten his name thrown into trade rumor mills. With his stock low at the moment however, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether he’ll be skating at the United Center again this upcoming season.Here’s hoping Versteeg can turn things around should he remain a Blackhawk."

There you have it! Two of the most criticized players with the Blackhawks today get a shout out on Day #90 in our countdown heading to the Stanley Cup Banner Raising!

What are your thoughts on Corey Crawford or Kris Versteeg?

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