Which Blackhawk Player should have their Jersey Retired Next?
Marian Hossa's jersey retirement was a special evening for everyone. The organization spared no expense in making the festivities truly memorable. I enjoyed when all the players that won 3 cups got to join Marian and his family on the ice. That imagine of them with the Stanley Cup will always be a memory I can go to when thinking about their dominant run.
I recently ran a poll on my twitter account, @Blackhawk_Up, that asked whom deserves to have their jersey retied along with Marian Hossa's #81. I did have one big stipulation though; I assumed (correcrtly) that Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane's numbers were all already 100% going to go up into the United Center rafters.
Those three players are going to be Hall of Famers. That is not up for debate. However, what about Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford, Niklas Hjalmarsson, or Brent Seabrook? Do any of those 4 deserve their number retired by Chicago? Perhaps they only deserve a "ring of honor" type of acknowledgment?
For me at least, it is very hard to quantify these four players' true impact on the fanbase as well as the winning Chicago did for a decade.
What the people said:
699 total votes:
57% Seabrook, 21% Crawford, 16% Sharp, and 6% Hjalmarsson
I tend to agree with this, despite voting for Crawford myself, as Seabrook played 15 seasons for the Blackhawks and has iconic game winning goals that will always endure. To me, the #7 goes up in 2 seasons (Keith should go next season). He has 464 points playing in 1,114 regular season matches. He was even better in the playoffs, scoring 59 points in 123 playoff games. That is a 500pt blueliner winning 3 cups and skating heavy minutes. He is in.
Crawford, Sharp, and Hjalmarsson for me should go into a ring of honor type of display at the UC. I know Crawford has "all-time" Hawk goalie numbers, that Sharp has similar offensive numbers to Hoss's Chicago time, and that Hjalmar was maybe the best defesnive dman of the decade.... However, my gut tells me that they are on a level just below those big 5 (Seabs, DK, Kaner, Toews, and Hossa).
This will be a hard debate for the Wirtz family (ultimately up to them). Jaime Faulkner will have a lot of say in this as well. There is no doubt that this decade long run that the Blackhawks displayed will live on for generations, but it doesn't mean each player deserves their number retired either.