All Time Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks: Cliff Koroll Days Until Banner Raising

By Keith Schultz
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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 are down to 20 days until opening night, and we arrive at a number that was last worn by Brandon Saad.  Since we are still in shock of the trade to Columbus we decided to take a look back to a player from the 70’s that wore #20. I thought of Koroll after receiving this pic on Twitter asking who were the players.

Cliff Koroll was the replacement for Kenny Wharram after he had to retire in 1969 due to a heart issue.  Koroll picked up an early season hat trick and he was on Stan Mikita‘s line for the rest of the 1970’s, becoming one of the best scoring lines of the early 70’s

Koroll was a good scorer and could put the puck in the net, as he’s only one of 18 players in Blackhawks history with over 200 goals in franchise history, but he was known for his 200 foot game which was preached to him by his college coach and he carried it over to the NHL. Koroll would be a favorite of Joel Quenneville if he played today!

Koroll was part of the 1971 and 1973 Blackhawks that reached the Stanley Cup Finals, but they came up short both times to the hands of the Montreal Canadiens with 71 being the biggest heartbreaker of them all for Koroll and the Blackhawks. If you ask any fan of that generation, they can barely speak of 71 Game #7.

The longer Koroll’s career lasted the more he went from a scoring forward to a checking forward with his group bieing the best lines in the NHL.  Koroll transformed into a shutdown forward that could still put the puck in the net. In the mid to late 70’s top scorers around the leagued dreaded the checking of Koroll.

After retiring Koroll was an assistant coach with the Hawks for 7 seven seasons before leaving the NHL for good.

Here is a quick look at a few other #20’s in Chicago Blackhawks history.

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1. Lee Fogolin-1951 Fogolin also wore #3 during his Hawks career.  He played in 427 NHL games scoring 10 goals and 48 assists.

2. Max Quackenbush-1952 Quackenbush played 14 games wearing #20. He had 1 assist during his brief Hawks career.

3. Sid Abel-1953 Abel played his first 12 years of his career with the Detroit Red Wings while finished his NHL Career with one year in Chicago. He played 42 games wearing #20 in Chicago scoring 4 goals and 5 assists.

4. Murray Costello-1954 Costello scored 3 goals and 2 assists in his 40 game Blackhawks career before moving on to the Boston Bruins.

5. Dick Gamble-1955 Gamble dressed in 14 games for the Hawks scoring 2 goals in the process.

6. Hank Ciesla-1956-1957 Ciesla played 140 games with the Blackhawks scoring 18 goals and 31 assists.

7.  Earl Balfour-1958-1960 Balfour played the last 218 games of his 288 game career in Chicago wearing #20. Balfour scored 30 goals and 22 assists during his playing days.

8. Wayne Hillman-Hillman played in different seasons for the Hawks scoring 5 goals and 16 assists.

9. Cliff Koroll-1970-1980 Koroll played his entire 814 NHL game career with the Chicago Blackhawks.  Koroll scored 204 goals and 254 assists with a +rating of +109.

10. Al Secord 1981-1990 Secord is one of my favorite players of all-time to ever wear the Chicago Blackhawks jersey.  He could do it all from scoring to fighting.  Secord is only one of 3 Blackhawks to ever score 50 goals in a season. Secord is one of the rare NHL players to ever score 40 goals in a season and have over 300 penalty minutes in the same year. Secord’s entire NHL career was 766 games scoring 273 goals and 222 assists with 2,093 penalty minutes.

11. Mike Hudson 1991-1993 Hudson’s best season in Chicago was 1992 when he scored 14 goals and 15 assists.

12. Gary Suter 1994-1998 Suter with Chris Chelios were a great defensive pairing for the Hawks in the mid-90′s. Suter played 301 games with the Hawks scoring 53 goals and 126 assists during his 5 year tenure with the Hawks.

13. Mike Eastwood -2002 Eastwood stop in Chicago was 53 games in which he scored 2 goals and 10 assists.

14. Andy Hilbert-2004 Hilbert in the middle of his 307 NHL game career played 28 games for Chicago picking up 5 goals and 4 assists.

15. Brandon Bochenski-2006-2007 Bochenksi appeared  in 30 games with the Blackhawks scoring 4 goals and 2 assists.

16. Robert Lang-2008 Lang played with the Hawks for one season scoring 21 goals and 33 assists before heading to the Montreal Canadiens.

17. Jack Skille-2010-2011 The only good thing you can say about Skille is he was the reason the Hawks were able to aquire Michael Frolik.

18. Sami Lepisto-2012 Lepisto short stay in Chicago was 26 games long with 1 goal and 2 assist.

19. Brandon Saad– Two-time Stanley Cup champion that picked money over being part of the Chicago Blackhawks core for years to come.

We are down to 20 days!! Opening day is right around the corner!!

Next: How Good Do You Know Your Blackhawks?

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