Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Twas The Night Before Christmas

By Sean Fitzgerald

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the United Center, not a creature was stirring, not even a Tommy Hawk. The banners were hung at the top of the United Center with care, in hopes that Gary Bettman again soon would be there. The players were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Stanley Cups  danced in their heads. Momma in her Blackhawks kerchief, and I in my Stadium Series cap, had just settled down for a long winter nap. When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

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Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters  and threw up up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave a luster of midday to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a double-decker bus full of Blackhawks players, with a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in that moment it was not Jonathan Quick … but Bettman.

With more raid that eagles his Blackhawks came, and he whistled and called them by name: “Now, Kaner! Now, Crawford! Now Keith and Seabrook! On Panarin, on Kruger, on Hjammer and Shaw! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, now skate away! Skate away! Skate away all!”

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the housetop the courses they flew, with the limo full of toys and Bettman, too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof the legs gliding with each little skate. As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney Bettman came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur and feathers from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

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A bundle of hockey sticks and pucks, he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples,  how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the playoff beard on his chin was as white as snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head led me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to work, and filled all the stockings. Then spinroama, and laying his finger aside of his nose, giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. He sprang to his limo, to his Blackhawks team gave a whistle, and away they all skated, away like down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight …

“Happy Blackhawks Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”