The Chicago Blackhawks Broke A 49-Year Drought On This Date
You remember it like it was yesterday, right? The Chicago Blackhawks were in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, one goal away from winning the team’s first championship in 49 years. Brian Campbell passed the puck to Patrick Kane along the boards, and Kane streaked down to the area below the net, firing off a shot that sneaked past Michael Leighton and set off a massive celebration.
Except for that last part, maybe. Because Kane celebrated, and Patrick Sharp celebrated. And maybe a handful of fans celebrated. But most everyone else was heavily confused, as the puck had gone into the net so quickly and immediately stuck below part of the padding. It left fans and Blackhawks players (minus Kane and Sharp) on the edge of their seats, wondering if the franchise’s rebuild from 2006’s “Worst Sports Team” to a champion was complete.
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And it was, and so we can celebrate this day as the six-year anniversary of the Blackhawks breaking their Stanley Cup drought. A bunch of baby-faced budding stars in Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, along with more-veteran players like Sharp and Marian Hossa, began a six-year run few could’ve imagined in the NHL’s salary cap era.
Six years ago today, the Blackhawks really confirmed Chicago was seeing a golden age of hockey, winning their first of three Stanley Cups in six seasons. For those of you who’d like to watch how it finally happened, I have just the thing for you.
It’s a longer video, but if you’re trying to watch at work, certainly your boss will understand your need for this good memory. After all, the Blackhawks haven’t played a game in about a month and a half, and the current roster’s future is very shaky. This is a good day to put that in the background.
So much has changed with the organization since Kane’s overtime winner in 2010. Some of the changes were for the better, others not so much. We don’t have to worry about games being blacked out, which is obviously great. And so many of the game’s hottest players want to come to Chicago, a problem any team would like to have. There was also getting to celebrate three championships in six years and the chance to watch a ton of great hockey in the process.
On the other side, winning so much has caused the Blackhawks to bump up against the salary cap and constantly rework their roster, making it hard to get attached to some players. It’s also become difficult for many of the everyday men and women who are fans to go see a game without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, the team’s success has brought on board some fans who consider cheering for another team or considering swearing off the Blackhawks at the first sign of on-ice trouble.
But it would be impossible to say you don’t wish the Blackhawks had won in 2010, and then just kept on winning. Cheering on a championship-caliber club, no matter how long it stays that way, is just too much fun. So we celebrate one of the big points in that creation today.
Interestingly enough, a different sort of Blackhawks anniversary was yesterday. On June 8, 1976, Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr signed a five-year deal with the Blackhawks after spending 10 seasons with the Boston Bruins. Orr was just 28 in his first season with the Blackhawks, so you might’ve thought they were getting him in his prime.
But hockey was a very different game back then. Orr played in just 26 games with the Blackhawks across two seasons before retiring at age 30. It’s certainly not as upbeat an anniversary as today’s championship one, but it’s an interesting note nonetheless.