Chicago Blackhawks 2017 Convention Wrap-up
By Sean Fitzgerald
The Chicago Blackhawks finished their 10th annual convention this past weekend. I had the pleasure of attending my third convention in a row. This year’s convention felt different compared to the ninth convention. There was more EXCITEMENT. There was excitement for the returns of Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad. Both Sharp and Saad were everywhere. Both were on the radio, TV, and in their own Homecoming panel. Sharp also was the double signer for the Scratch off winners.
I have noticed distinct themes during the three conventions I have attended. The Eight Convention was the Stanley Cup and celebrating the 3rd Championship. It was also meeting the new guys when the Hawks brought in Trevor Daley, Artemi Panarin, Viktor Tikhonov, and others. The Ninth convention themes to me were defense with Brian Campbell coming back and remember the 2009-10 team.
I felt two main themes flowing through this convention.
This convention focused on the homecomings of Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp. Both Saad and Sharp are loved by the fans and the team. I would argue that the three largest ovations during Open Ceremonies were Saad, Toews, and Sharp. I thought Sharp had the loudest ovation in the room.
Both Saad and Sharp acknowledged on several occasions that it was good to be home. Sharp had said that he had hadn’t felt right in his two seasons in Dallas. He even stated that his last season in Chicago didn’t feel right to him and wanted to make that right this season.
Sharp also spoke with Campbell a lot last season and knew his decision to come “home” was right.
Meeting Connor Murphy
Everyone was disappointed that Niklas Hjalmalsson was traded to Arizona for Connor Murphy. While we have told people to trust Murphy, nobody really knew him. This convention we got to know Murphy. He was available for a pictures (I got one), Autographs, and many panels.
Murphy might have had the line of the convention. During the “Kids Only Press Conference” a young man asked “who the panel’s best friends on the team were?” Patrick Kane took the opportunity to take a shot at Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz stated Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza, and John Hayden. Hayden said Schamltz. Murphy stated that ” It was his second day with the team and he openly looking for new friends”. The line was priceless.
In addition to the two major themes, here are other random facts that I took for this 10th annual convention.
- Players have a great respect for Marian Hossa. Toews, Saad, and Tanner Kero praised Hossa’s back-checking ability in their “Two Way Players” panel.
- Patrick Sharp was undefeated during the 2012-13 season. He appeared in 28 regular season games and the Hawks won everyone one of his games per Sharp.
- The Blackhawks are trying to move all of their old Reebok Merchandise. All Reebok merchandise was 60-70% off.
- Tommy Hawks is still AWESOME!!
- You just never know when you will be on TV.
This Convention definitely had a different feel to it. There was more excitement than last year. People are hopefully for the future of this team and so are the players.