Well we survived the solar eclipse, and now we are back to the Top 100 Greatest Chicago Blackhawks. Today we look at a player whose name is synonymous with one play which doesn’t represent his entire career.
Tom Lysiak was the 2nd overall pick in the 1973 draft, and he became a very good young center for the Atlanta Flames in the 1970’s.
Lysiak was a two-way center who played all 200 feet, and that’s why the Hawks traded for him in 1980 in a huge deal that sent Phil Russell, Darcy Rota, and Ivan Boldirev to the Flames which didn’t set very well with the Chicago Blackhawks faithful.
Lysiak did win over the Chicago Blackhawks fans with his hard work and very consistent play. He was just under a point a game player picking over 400 points in 474 games played in Chicago.
He was a teammate everyone enjoyed playing with because he was unselfish, and he was willing to pick up the hardest assignments each and every night.
Lysiak was part of three deep playoff runs in the 1980’s with the Hawks getting to the Conference Championship each time, but they never had quite enough to get past either the Vancouver Canucks or Edmonton OIlers.
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Lysiak could be counted on during the regular season or the playoffs with his consistent play and valuable scoring.
Unfortunately for Lysiak, the one play he will always be remembered for his tripping up referee Dave Newell on purpose in October of 1983. Lysiak received the longest suspension handed out at that time, 20 games for the incident.
Not only did that scar Lysiak’s reputation, it began an era where many think the NHL referee’s were always out to get the Blackhawks which although never confirmed sure appeared to be suspicious at times.
Lysiak was the kind of player everyone wanted on their team, and it’s unfortunate that even today if you say the name Lysiak my first thought is tripping a ref.
Sadly, Lysiak passed away a year ago last May after fighting cancer. Lysiak was a great Blackhawk!
Only 45 more days until the 2017-2018 season kicks off!