Chicago Blackhawks’ merchandise has finally reached the tipping point, plummeting into absurdity. When I started watching hockey in 1989, it was nearly impossible to find a Blackhawks t-shirt in Chicago. Twenty-six years and three Stanley Cup Championships later, you can hardly walk ten feet without seeing Blackhawks t-shirts, towels or temporary tattoos for sale somewhere. One side effect of the team’s success is that the Blackhawks will now license ANY item, no matter how incredibly stupid it is. Here are seven officially-licensed ‘Hawks items that left me scratching my head, wondering why any team would be OK with their logo adorning these.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a modern-era dynasty, winning the Stanley Cup three times in six years. The journey started way back in 2002, when the team selected defenseman — and future Conn Smythe Trophy winner — Duncan Keith in the NHL Entry Draft.
Solid drafting has been the key to Chicago’s success. Of the 25 players who suited up for the Blackhawks in the 2015 playoffs, 12 were drafted between 2002 and 2013, while seven were acquired in trades and six others were signed as free agents.
For more detail on how this dynasty was crafted, plus a recap of how every player contributed to the ‘Hawks latest championship, check out this interactive timeline. ■
Blackhawks fans are a passionate bunch, so it takes something above and beyond your typical jersey or face paint to stand out in this sea of red. But lifelong ‘Hawks fan Michael Rigitano is anything but typical. After the team won the Stanley Cup in 2010, he exceeded the normal boundaries of fandom and descended into something much deeper. On a dare, he built a life-size replica of Lord Stanley’s Cup — using bottle caps. Many, many thousands of bottle caps.
Since then, the Bottle Cap Stanley Cup has had a life of its own. Rigitano — a college student who also teaches children and adults how to play hockey — and his trophy were guests at the United Center and have appeared on TV, on the radio and in newspapers around Chicago. His creation helped raise money for breast cancer research at a Chicago Steel (USHL) game. The NHL even arranged for the “Cap Cup,” as he calls it, to be photographed with the real deal.
I spoke with Rigitano to learn what drove him to undertake such a monumental task.
Sal Barry: I’m going to just cut right to it — why did you make a replica of the Stanley Cup out of bottle caps?
The plan for this year’s Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory parade and subsequent rally was flawed from the get-go.
First, the parade is on a Thursday. A Thursday! Who wants to call in sick to work on Thursday, only to come back to work on Friday and pretend they’re still nursing a summer cold?
The other problem is that the rally afterward is a ticketed event at Soldier Field, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. The rally tickets were free through the Ticketmaster website at noon Wednesday. The 75,000 available tickets sold out in 20 minutes, and — to the disappointment of many Blackhawks fans — were being scalped on eBay moments later. Continue reading “Free Hawks rally tickets hawked on eBay”
The Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Champions for the third time in six years. But the ‘Hawks aren’t just the champions — they’re a dynasty, too. So said Gary Bettman last night before presenting team captain Jonathan Toews with the Stanley Cup.
One rewarding collecting project is to acquire a rookie card of every player on a championship team. I’ve put together rookie card sets of the 2010 and 2013 Blackhawks, as well as the 1985 Chicago Bears — but that’s another story (and another sport).
No NHL players can boast appearing on a hockey card 12 years before their career began — except Patrick Kane. On Sylvain Turgeon’s 1994-95 Pinnacle hockey card, you see the Senators winger trying not to fall flat on his face in a game against the Sabres from the previous year. This photo actually makes for a pretty good metaphor for the Senators’ 1993-94 season, when they went 14-61-9 in 84 games.
Now, take a closer look at the wide-eyed kid in the stands.
Hear the name “Hull” and you instantly think either “Bobby” or “Brett,” depending on your age. “The Third Best Hull,” is about Dennis Hull — Bobby’s younger brother and Brett’s uncle. He might be the third-best hockey player named Hull, but Dennis is a first-rate author who knows how to tell a good story.
Did Andrew Shaw bite Victor Hedman in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals? The Blackhawks, Shaw or Hedman won’t discuss it.
Steve Galvao is a good old Canadian kid who grew up loving hockey and collecting hockey cards. To see more of Steve’s work, visit his website, the Shoebox Collection. You can view his earlier blog posts here. Follow Steve on Twitter @galvaost. ■