No. 2: Chris Chelios, D, 1990-99
Speaking of it being unfortunate the Blackhawks couldn’t win a Cup with someone around, we come to Chelios, another guy the Blackhawks traded far too soon. Sure, Chelios was in his late 30s when he got moved, but he still had another 10 NHL seasons to go.
Still, Chelios’ time with Chicago was just a Cup or two short of superb. He made the All-Star team nine times as a Blackhawks and won the Norris Trophy twice as the league’s top defenseman. He assumed the captaincy in 1995 and carried it until he was traded in 1999.
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Chelios was in Chicago through the end of a really good time and at the start of a really bad one. All the while, however, his game never dipped. He finished above 30 points in every season in Chicago and surpassed 40 in all but two (not including his traded-shortened 1998-99 campaign).
Overall, in 8 1/2 seasons with the Blackhawks, Chelios contributed 104 goals, 431 assists and plenty of personal accolades. Oh, and he had Cheli’s Chili Bar on West Madison. Can’t forget that when ranking top American-born players.
No. 1: Patrick Kane, RW, 2007-present
This is a pretty obvious pick for a number of reasons. If you went solely off Kane’s previous season in Chicago, during which he became the first American-born Hart Trophy winner, won the Art Ross and Ted Lindsay awards and set a franchise-record points streak, he would be a strong consideration for this list’s top 10. Of course, he’s accomplished more than that.
Kane has been an integral part of three Stanley Cup wins for the Blackhawks over the last seven seasons. He scored the Cup-winning goal in 2010 and won the Conn Smythe in 2013. He’s also an eight-time All-Star in nine season and won the Calder Trophy his rookie year.
Kane sits at 300 points and 484 assists for his career, spent entirely with Chicago. The Golden Age of Hockey in the city would not have set in without the combo of Kane and Toews. So he’s a pretty easy pick to sit at the top of this list.