Chicago Blackhawks Greatest 100- #36 Chiko Maki And #35 Cliff Koroll

MONTREAL, QC - 1976: Cliff Koroll
MONTREAL, QC - 1976: Cliff Koroll /

Fell asleep at the wheel yesterday, so today you get two for the price of one in our Greatest Chicago Blackhawks 100 countdown! 

It happens sometimes, but not to many players get to hoist the Stanley Cup in their rookie seasons, but Chico Maki is one of those young Chicago Blackhawks of the early 60’s that were playing for the Hawks when they won the 1961 Stanley Cup.

Maki was an unselfish player that made his teammates better. He was an excellent passer of the puck and if you ask Bobby Hull, it was Maki and Phil Esposito that formed the best line #9 ever played on.

The one story of Maki that tells you what kind of teammate he is came in the season ending game of 1970.  The Hawks were up big against the New York Rangers in the third period so their coach pulled the goalie.  The Hawks started scoring quite a few empty net goals, on one trip down Maki passed it to Hull for the goal.  Later, Hull tried to return the favor to Maki, but the unselfish player passed it back to Hull for the assist.

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Maki got his name on the Cup, and never missed a playoff season, but his rookie cameo appearance was the only time the Hawks would win the Cup in his long career with the Hawks.

Cliff Koroll showed up in the late 60’s after winning the NCAA Championship with Keith Magnuson at the University of Denver which wasn’t the normal route to the NHL in those days.

Koroll was a very consistent scorer during the 70’s instantly meshing with Stan Mikita in his rookie season.

The unfortunate thing for Koroll and those playing their career during the 70’s is that they couldn’t get passed the Montreal Canadiens especially in the 1971 Finals when they had a 2-0 lead at the Stadium in Game #7 (sounds almost like the 2014 Western Conference Finals)

Koroll only played until he was 33 and then he coached for a few years before totally leaving hockey for the business world.

If you look at the career of Koroll it’s pretty impressive although many would say it was a very quiet career!

Do you remember these great Blackhawks?

Next: Looking Ahead at the Blackhawks Forward Groups

Only 35 days left until the season kicks off at the United Center!