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 made it to 44 in our countdown and we have arrived at a player in our countdown that appeared to appreciate the Stanley Cup win the most out of everyone wearing a Chicago Blackhawks uniform on June 15th.
Kimmo Timonen wasn’t a Chicago Blackhawks player until the trading deadline and it didn’t even appear that he would be able to play this season due to blood clots yet Stan Bowman took a chance on the NHL veteran that was well respected throughout the league.
Timonen basically played his way into shape on the third pairing defense after the trade and never really stood out, but he was reliable player that Joel Quenneville trusted more than David Rundblad and Kyle Cumiskey.
As the playoffs grew longer it was pretty apparent that Timonen was a little too slow and old to be out there yet when Michal Rozsival was injured he was still in the lineup during the Stanley Cup Finals, and he was there on the Chicago Blackhawks bench when the final buzzer went off for the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship.
Timonen was the first player handed the Stanley Cup from Jonathan Toews following the footsteps of Michal Handzus in 2013 and Marian Hossa in 2010. Timonen had to be urged to take a skate with the Cup from the Captain and it was a great scene from the United Center.
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The pictures from Timonen’s Day with the Stanley Cup really looked like the biggest celebration of the summer. The entire city looked to have turned out for his special day, and it was great to see a grizzled veteran get the day he deserved.
There have been some other players to have worn #44 and here’s a quick snapshot of those former #44’s!
Rik Wilson-1998 Played in 14 games picking up 4 goals and 5 assists and then quickly vanished from the NHL.
Jari Torkki-1999 Played in 4 games picked up 1 career goal and then disappeared to Finland forever
Mike Peluso– 1990-1991
Rob Brown– Played in 40 games scoring 6 times with 17 assists in 1993
Patrick Poulin 1994-96
Game wining Goals-3
Bryan McCabe– 1999 79 games scoring 6 times with 19 assists
Burke Henry– 2002-2004 Played in 39 games over 2 seasons scoring twice with 6 assists.
Finally Danny Richmond played in 39 times picking up 2 assists and then he disappeared from the NHL like most of the rest of the players that wore 44!
Who was your favorite #44, opening day is getting closer every day!
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