The Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their eighth annual Blackhawks Convention this past Friday. I was lucky enough to attend the convention, which took place at the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue.
When I first arrived at the Hilton, I picked up my convention track bag and programs. Friday night featured autographs and pictures with current and former Blackhawks along with opening ceremonies and a Second City performance.
At the convention, you cannot attend all of the events, so I made the decision to attend the opening ceremonies and Second City performance. I got in line at 12:30 p.m., and the International Ballroom did not open till 3 p.m. I sat and stood in line with some good people. Once we were allowed to enter the International Ballroom, I got up to left hand side of the section which put me very close to the VIP section. Six-hundred VIP tickets were allowed in front of all those who waited like me.
The opening ceremonies were hosted by Eddie Olczyk. Eddie O introduced the Stanley Cup first, with the Cup placed on stage, and the coaches and front office staff joined them on stage. In keeping with tradition, Eddie O then brought soloist Jim Cornelison onto the stage for the National Anthem.
Eddie O went on to introduce attending players individually, starting with the Blackhawks alumni. The players and alumni walked down the catwalk to the stage. Some of the notable alumni in attendance were Murray Bannerman, Steve Larmer, Steve Konroyd, Tony Esposito, Dennis Hull and Bobby Hull. After TV play-by-play announcer Pat Foley was introduced, he was allowed to introduce Bannerman was his patented BANNERMAN announcement.
After the alumni entered, the current players entered with Jeremy Morin leading the way. Morin looked pissed to be there. There were very few veteran players in attendance, with the majority of attendees being the new Chicago Blackhawks. Once everyone was in the International Ballroom, The Blackhawks played a video that summarized last season. It was a great experience and worth the wait, and I could feel the energy and the excitement. Jonathan Toews would be the only player to speak, thanking the fans for attending.
The second event of the evening was the Second City event. This event was a blast! It featured hilarious skit after hilarious skit. Skits featured Jamal Mayers, Patrick Kane, Scott Darling, Andrew Shaw and Kris Versteeg. The best skit of the evening was with Versteeg. The skit was a private investigator story with Versteeg as the P.I. The P.I. Versteeg was named Dick Kris Versteeg. Versteeg solved the case and then was asked to shoot the person responsible. Dick Kris Versteeg shot the narrator because he always wanted to shoot the narrator. It was hilarious! The Second City panel ended the first night of the convention for me.
Next: Day #2 At Blackhawks Convention
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