When you are asked to name all of the Chicago Blackhawks that have won the Hart trophy, not many would be able to name Max Bentley in the group I would believe.
Max Bentley came up with the Chicago Blackhawks right when World War II was about to begin in the 1940-41 season after trying to make the Montreal Canadiens a few years earlier, but he had to head home due to an illness which worked in the long run for the Blackhawks.
Max Bentley was a little guy, but he was by far the fastest skater in the NHL at the time which made him a real weapon especially after he had been in the NHL, and had figured things out on how to use his speed and quick shot.
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He was able to use his speed to score which is something even today players have struggled to be able to combine.
Max would win the Art Ross Trophy twice with the Chicago Blackhawks and in the 1945-46 season he would win his Hart Trophy for being the MVP of the NHL. To show you how much the game has changed since the mid 1940’s, Bentley won the award with a season of 30 goals and 30 assists.
In what could be the third worst trade in franchise history, Bill Tobin sent Bentley to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a bunch of players that would never reach the playoffs again until the mid 1950’s.
Bentley would go on to win 3 Stanley Cup Trophies with the Maple Leafs in 48,49, and 51 while the Blackhawks couldn’t even qualify for the playoffs in a 6 team league.
Bentley was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame after retiring and is one of the Chicago Blackhawks All-Time Greats that got away.
Only 52 more days until the Blackhawks start playing real games again!