The Chicago Blackhawks are a team full of rich history. This season, forward Dominik Kahun is well on his way to making some history of his own as the first NHL player to not commit a penalty while playing a full 82 game season.
The NHL was founded on November 26, 1917, almost 10 years before the Chicago Blackhawks came along in the original six. In 102 years of existence, no one has ever played every game of an 82 game season while taking zero penalties.
Granted, players have played a full season before without doing so, however the feat hasn’t been done again since the NHL switched to an 82 game schedule.
Yet through 55 games with the Chicago Blackhawks this year, Dominik Kahun has yet to commit a penalty.
It’s surprising to see a rookie in a situation like this. Normally, veteran players with experience in the league who’ve built relationships with officials will manage to avoid taking penalties. Then again, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews are 3 of the Blackhawks 4 leaders in penalty minutes this season.
Regardless, inexperience hasn’t deterred Kahun, who only needs 2 more games to set an NHL record.
Jimmy Greenfield of the Chicago Tribune recently wrote about Kahun’s pursuit of the record. Though the NHL record might appear to be just a bleak light at the end of a nearly 30-game-long-tunnel, the Chicago Blackhawks franchise record could be his sooner than you’d think.
According to Greenfield, Kahun needs just seven more penalty-free games to cement himself in franchise history.
"“But he is on the verge of setting the Hawks record for most games to start a season without a penalty. He trails only Gerry Melnyk, who went 62 games in 1961-62 before committing his first penalty.”"
It isn’t necessarily the most glamorous NHL record to be chasing, however it certainly speaks volumes to the type of player Kahun is. In his professional career, Kahun has never posted more than 14 penalty minutes in a season. In fact, he’s only broken double digits once.
His worst season penalty wise came back in 2010-11 while playing in Germany.
He was only fifteen.
Clearly, Kahun is a disciplined player to say the least. For reference, only one other player in the NHL has yet to take a penalty while playing in every game.
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Kahun’s quest for the NHL record is just another interesting storyline added onto this increasingly exciting finish to the Chicago Blackhawks season.