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.
Well, yesterday was fun looking back at an actual jersey number in John Tonelli, but unfortunately in the barren wasteland of jersey numbers 60-76 it’s another day of the countdown without a jersey number for us to look at. The exciting part is we are already down to 71 days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner to the United Center Rafters!
Of course anytime I see 71, I see a season which the Chicago Blackhawks could have won the Stanley Cup, but the Montreal Canadiens took it from them in one of those disappointing Chicago sports stories. It’s interesting that when you look back, its Bobby Hull that is frustrated because coach Billy Reay sat him and Stan Mikita during two different 4 on 4 opportunities in Game #7. Could you imagine the uproar if Coach Q played David Rundblad and Kimmo Timonen instead of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in that type of situation?
The Hawks of course didn’t win and the drought which would last all the way until 2010 was already at 10 years, and it’s a loss people like my Dad never could really let go.
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In our Countdown of the greatest Chicago Blackhawks of All-time at #71 we had Kyle Calder and this is what we had to say about him last year.
"Kyle CalderDrafted- By Chicago in the 5th round of the 1997 draft 130th overallGames-359Goals-85Assists-125Points-210-27Penalty Minutes-184Game Winning Goals-13PlayoffsGames-5Goals-2+1Penalty Minutes-10Kyle Calder Blackhawks career stretches the entire Dark Age of Chicago Blackhawks hockey. He was drafted in 1997 and sent to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2006 in the middle of all of that he was on the one playoff team in the dark ages the 2001-2002 squad.Calder was a Andrew Shaw type of player that wasn’t afraid to play against the boards, in front of the opponents net, and to be a complimentary player with bigger talent. He basically broke in with two offensive stars on the Hawks top line with Alexei Zhamnov and Tony Amonte and he held his own by doing all the dirty work.Calder became part of the ABC line with Tyler Arnason and Mark Bell in the early 2000’s which gave hope for the Blackhawks but it was just that hope and soon none of that youth became part of a Blackhawks turnaround.Calder does rank 59th all-time in Blackhawks points and had a workman like career after leaving Chicago. One thing that is telling when seeing pictures of him is how unatural 19 looks on him after seeing Jonathan Toews wear it for so long."
There you go! We are down to 71 days until Banner raising and I can’t wait for the summer to end already!
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