We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks 2017-2018 season kicks off on October 5th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. We’re going to do a Top 100 list of the all time Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane looking back at our favorite Blackhawks.
Today we are at #97 and we are going to celebrate two of Chicago’s finest! Wayne Messmer was the voice of old Chicago Stadium. It was his house, and it was always great listening to him sing. He also sang a lot at Wrigley Field.
Messmer was shot in the throat outside a restaurant in 1994 so he was unable to sing the last few games at the Stadium so the Chicago Blackhawks played a recording of him before those last few games.
Of course his most famous anthem was at the 1991 NHL All-Star game when the USA was in the middle of the Gulf War. The crowd cheered over him that day, and although that really wasn’t the first time that ever happened it can be credited as the beginning of the crowd cheering for the anthem before Blackhawks games.
Of course new or young fans of the Blackhawks don’t know Messmer, but everyone knows Jim Cornelison the current anthem singer. Seven years ago, one of our first posts ever on Blackhawk Up was an interview with Jim Cornelison and here is a link to that conversation!
Cornelison was part of a part-time crew that started singing the anthem for Hawks games back in 1996, but he became the full-time singer in 2007.
Of course since he’s become the full-time singer the Hawks have won 3 Stanley Cups! I must say I get chills everytime he sings like I did with Messmer in the old Stadium.
The one thing I really like is that the Chicago Blackhawks organization recognizes two or three current or retired serviceman before every game. It makes you proud to be a Blackhawks fans when you see those men on the ice next to Jim!
What’s your favorite memory of either of these two great Chicago legends?
Only 97 days until we hear Jim Cornelison singing once again at the United Center!