What would various Chicago Blackhawks players, past and present, be as Pearl Jam songs?
Legendary rock band Pearl Jam will be visiting Chicago this weekend, playing two shows at historic Wrigley Field today and Monday. In honor of the band’s epic set, and frontman Eddie Vedder’s connections to Chicago, here is a short list of current and former Blackhawks and the Pearl Jam songs that coincide with them.
DISCLAIMER: Some connections are based off of lyrics and some are based on song titles.
Jonathan Toews – “Alive”
When you think of the Chicago Blackhawks, you think of their captain Jonathan Toews. The face of the franchise for nearly a decade now, Toews is synonymous with the Blackhawks and the culture of the organization.
Similar to his partner in crime, Patrick Kane, Toews has been a part of the new era of Blackhawks hockey from the start. Coming off of Pearl Jam’s first album, “Alive” is what started the band’s ascension in the music scene.
One of Pearl Jam’s most recognizable songs and one of their biggest hits of all time is “Alive.” A cornerstone to any Pearl Jam set list, “Alive” is the foundation on which the band made its historic roots, much like the Blackhawks have laid a solid foundation with Toews at the helm.
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Patrick Kane – “Even Flow”
Another song that is the foundation to Pearl Jam’s global success is “Even Flow.” While it’s hard to know all the lyrics, “Even Flow” is still one of the most recognizable songs in the band’s history.
The open riff can be heard in sports arenas across the country still today, and there is no sign that the song’s legacy will ever go away.
Much like the song, Kane is another cornerstone to the Blackhawks franchise. He and Toews are the two most recognizable Blackhawks of the modern era and will always have their careers and legacies tied together, just like “Alive” and “Even Flow” both coming off of Pearl Jam’s first album “Ten.” Plus, Kane is known around the hockey world for that playoff mullet, or as others call it, The Flow.
Jeremy Roenick – “Jeremy”
Pretty self-explanatory here for Blackhawks great Jeremy Roenick to be linked to his namesake song “Jeremy.”
Marian Hossa – “Once”
“Once” is a Pearl Jam sing that talks about a man’s descent into madness. On a little lighter note, “Once” can be referred to when Marian Hossa was at the top of his game and considered a top-line forward in the NHL.
Now it is seen that Hossa is in the descent of his career with the Blackhawks, even though he still has five years remaining on his current contract.
Hossa will be the de facto top-line right-winger for the Blackhawks when the season begins. Whether his skill set is still at that caliber is highly debatable.
Nonetheless, Hossa was “Once” one of the top players in the NHL at his position and now will be one of the eldest on the roster at 37 years old.
Brandon Mashinter – “Nothingman”
To be honest, this one is a bit harsh. But when asked what Brandon Mashinter brings to the Blackhawks, one could answer, “Nothing, man.”
Brandon Saad – “Black”
Brandon Saad had one of the most promising careers ahead of him in Chicago. After winning two Stanley Cups and amassing 126 points in 208 games with the Blackhawks, Saad had a decision to make when his contract was up after the 2014-15 season.
Ultimately, Saad’s negotiation rights were traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he signed for more money that the Blackhawks were able to offer.
The lyrics to “Black” deal with loss and not being able to be with the one you love.
"“I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky, But why, why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine?” – “Black” – Pearl Jam"
It hurts. It still hurts.
Corey Crawford – “Better Man”
For Pearl Jam, you couldn’t find a more ‘sing-along’ song at concerts than “Better Man.” One of the few songs that is easy to understand, “Better Man” is another staple to any Pearl Jam show and is pretty reliable to hear at least once a day on alternative rock radio.
Much like it is easy to sing along to “Better Man,” Blackhawks fans find it easy to sing along to the chants of ‘Craw-ford, Craw-ford’ at the United Center over the past few seasons. One of the most reliable goalies in the NHL, Corey Crawford is simply the best that the Blackhawks have had in recent years between the pipes. When it comes to goaltenders, they simply can’t find a “Better Man.”
Brian Campbell – “The Fixer”
A big hole in the roster for Chicago last season was its depth on defense. A rotation of young defenders, along with a number of inconsistent veterans lined the bottom pairings for the Blackhawks in 2015-16.
It’s a need the organization had to address this offseason. And addressed it was in the signing of former Blackhawk Brian Campbell to a one-year deal.
Many now feel that the Blackhawks have fixed their problems on the defensive side of things by bringing in a proven veteran in Campbell. Much like Pearl Jam’s “The Fixer,” Campbell’s role will be all about fixing the biggest issue that held Chicago back in 2015-16.
Artemi Panarin – “Nothing As It Seems”
Finally, when Artemi Panarin joined the Blackhawks at the start of last season, there wasn’t a high amount of expectations surrounding him. He had a relatively successful career in the KHL, but how would he transition to the NHL?
The song “Nothing As It Seems” fits Panarin because his undersized frame and, at the time, unproven skill set was nothing as it seemed for Chicago. No one knew he would come into the league and be a top-10 point scorer. Winning the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year was a major surprise to the organization and the NHL as a whole. From where Panarin started to where he finished, nothing was as it seemed.
So what do you think? Which songs were right, which songs would you change or add? Let us know in the comment section below!