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 reach 85 days until banner raising, and when you hit a round number like #85 you expect either nobody has worn the number or someone wore it and did it well, but neither is the case for #85 in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history.
Brian Campbell like Patrick Sharp this season had to be sent packing in 2011 because his cap number was way too high, and so Stan Bowman found a trading partner in his old boss Dale Tallon and in return the Chicago Blackhawks received Rostislav Olesz. The Olesz era didn’t last long in Chicago, a matter a fact in last a total on 6 games. That’s right, we didn’t have this trade down as one of the Top Five worst trades in Chicago Blackhawks recent history, but it sure could have been included.
Olesz had o goals o assists a -1 in the 2011-2012 season for the Chicago Blackhawks while dressing 6 times. While sitting on the payroll during the shortened season 2013 Stanley Cup payroll, Olesz was a buyout with Steve Montador in the summer of 2013 and his days were finally over in Chicago. A pretty small footnote in Chicago Blackhawks history.
In our countdown of the Top 100 Chicago Blackhawks of All-time last summer, we had Nikolai Khabibulin as our 85th greatest Blackhawk and this is what we said about him.
"Nikolai Khabibulin’s Blackhawks StatisticsRegular SeasonGames-206Wins-90Losses-81OTL-24Goals Against Average- 2.84Save Percentage-.904PostseasonGames-15Wins-8Losses-6Goals Against Average-2.93Save Percentage-.898Most new Blackhawks fans will remember Khabibulin only as the failed veteran backup to Corey Crawford during the 2013-2014 season where a groin pull turned into rotator cuff surgery and a quick end to his second stint with the Blackhawks.Old time Blackhawks fans remember Khabibulin as the goalie that was supposed to lead the Blackhawks out of the wilderness of their dark ages and back to winning. Well, Khabibulin got them all the way to the Western Conference Finals in 2009 their first playoff experience in years, and the first for the very young core of the Blackhawks.Khabibulin or the Bulin Wall was never spectacular in Chicago and never duplicated his heroics like he performed for the Tampa Bay Lightining in their only Stanley Cup season, but he was a pretty good goalie that is 9th all-time on the Blackhawks career win list which is pretty high when you look at all the great Blackhawks goalies that have been around in this franchises history."
One failed trade and one Chicago Blackhawk that failed on his return to the franchise. Do you have any good memories of either?
Only 85 days until banner raising!!!
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