Role players like Chico Maki have made the Blackhawks great

Chico Maki, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
Chico Maki, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /

It’s easy to forget the role players of a hockey team, but former Chicago Blackhawks like Chico Maki did his part to make a great team.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been around since the NHL started, and many, many players have played for Chicago. The thing is, people tend to remember only a handful of players.

It’s worth taking time to look back through the years and remember some former players that aren’t as well-known as players like Jonathon Toews or Patrick Kane.

After the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1961, current-day fans know full well that it took them 49 years before they raised the Stanley Cup again in 2010.

However, in between those two championships, the Blackhawks made an attempt in 1970-1971 against the Montreal Canadians. A contributor to that team in the was Ronald Chico Maki.

Despite playing 15 seasons, and skating alongside superstars like Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, Maki held his own. He passed away in 2015, and was remembered by former General Manager Tommy Ivan as “a good, honest, hard-working hockey player whose statistics don’t indicate how much he means to the Blackhawks.” (Italics added)

He even played on a line with Phil Esposito and Bobby Hull. The guy could play.

Don’t think Maki walked away from the game empty-handed. He was on the team that won the Stanly Cup in that infamous 1960-1961 team and was a three-time all-star.

Maki was a great player who played alongside some of the best players in Chicago Blackhawks history. It’s easy to understand how he might be overshadowed a bit by the legacies of some of his teammates, but he’s as much a part of the history of the team as any other player that came through the Blackhawks’ dressing room.

No team wins championships without players like Maki. The current Blackhawks are no different, and even if more recent players like Michael Frolik, a player that helped the Blackhawks defeat the Bruins in the 2012-2013 Stanley Cup Final.

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Frolik has similar numbers to Maki, and while it neither player may ever make their way into the Hockey Hall of Fame, each did their part in making Chicago great.