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 reached the number 52 in our countdown to banner raising and everyone that has been a Chicago Blackhawks fan the past few years probably has one thought when you think of #52 and that’s Brandon Bollig.
Bollig was the physical presence and really not the best fighter for the Chicago Blackhawks for a few seasons and was a bit of a surprise call up in 2012 where he scored his first goal againstMike Smith
in the Stanley Cup playoffs which was pretty hard to believe because Smith basically stood on his head for the entire series but somehow Bollig got one past the Phoenix Coyotes net minder.
The Bollig in the strike shortened played in half of the games, and was a spot starter for a couple of games (mostly the ones the Hawks lost) before Joel Quenneville would put Viktor Stalberg back in the lineup. In the end as we all know the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and Bollig got his name on the Stanley Cup.
Brandon Bollig still only had one career goal when the 2013-2014 season started and guess what happened, Bollig scored his first career regular season goal right after the 2013 Stanley Cup banner had been raised to the United Center rafters.
Bollig was a solid 4th line player for most of the season, but his skill set really never fit in with the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks team. It still was a surprise when Bollig was traded to the Calgary Flames during the 2014 NHL draft. The Quenneville/Bowman leadership group always seems to like having one physical presence guy and for a few years Bollig was that guy and he wore the #52.
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- Blackhawks: The five longest tenured captains in team history
- Blackhawks News: Andrew Shaw Retires At Age 29
- Best Blackhawks Goalie of All-Time: Esposito, Hall, or Crawford?
- The Jersey Numbers Never Worn in Blackhawks History
There have been some other #52’s in Chicago Blackhawks history here is a quick review.
–Cam Russell-1990-1991 Russell played for the Blackhawks for 10 seasons and wore jersey #8 for most of his career, but Russell wore 52 in his inital season with the Blackhawks
–Alexander Karpovtsev played parts of three seasons with the Blackhawks. His first season he wore #52 he scored 2 goals and 13 assists in the 2000-2001.
–Dustin Byfuglien– Byfuglien wore 52 from 2006-2008 before switching to #33. Byfuglien was a major force in the Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup run and many didn’t think the Hawks would ever find a player with that skill set again until Bryan Bickell‘s arrival in the 2013 playoffs.
–Radek Smolenak– 1 career game with the Blackhawks in 2010 with no points. Smolenak played 12 seasons in many leagues but only played 7 games in the NHL, 1 Blackhawks, 6 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Only 52 Days until we are back to watching the Chicago Blackhawks on the ice!