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Chicago Blackhawks: Ranking All The Captains In Franchise History

By Colin Likas
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NHL captaincy … it’s an interesting thing. Many Chicago Blackhawks fans are most familiar with the idea of a captain being like Jonathan Toews, the team’s leader since 2008. But not all captains are created equally, and not all are nearly as successful as Toews has been with the Blackhawks.

As such, I’ve decided to take a look at the history of Blackhawks captains and rank them from least-successful to most. A few facts before we get into the criteria for the rankings, and the rankings themselves.

— The Blackhawks, established in 1926 as the Black Hawks, have had 34 captains. On five occasions, the team had two captains at once.

— Though a rule now prohibits this altogether, one goaltender has been captain in Blackhawks history.

— Thirteen of the Blackhawks’ 34 captains are currently in the NHL Hall of Fame, though only 11 are there as players.

— On occasion, the Blackhawks have gone without a captain. The 1934-35, 1943-44, 1951-52, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons saw no official captain for the squad. (This is not an unusual occurrence; the Edmonton Oilers are currently without an official captain.)

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Now, I didn’t have any type of point system for officially ranking the 34 captains. But I did compile some stats for each player while he was Blackhawks captain and use those to rank them from 34th to first. The statistics:

— Overall record (regular season and playoffs) in seasons while team captain

— Individual regular-season stats and playoff stats

— Playoff appearances

– Longest run in the playoffs

— Stanley Cups won

I know I talked earlier about the number of Blackhawks captains in the Hall of Fame, but I decided not to make that a criterion, as that distinction is essentially irrelevant to being a good captain, since it happens after a player’s career has concluded.

My intention with this list was to cover the top 30 Blackhawks captains, so we’re going to have four honorable mentions to get us started. And with that … let’s get it going.

Next: Honorable Mentions

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