An Original Six Team
Founded in 1926, the Chicago Blackhawks have always been a Chicago NHL team. Originally the Black Hawks (two words) and often referred to by local fans as simply “the Hawks,” the team is one of the NHL’s Original Six, and currently, the only one of the six to play in the Western Conference. Many fans miss the Original Six intraconference rivalries (especially with the Detroit Red Wings), but there’s plenty more for Chicago fans to get excited about, with the Blackhawks team being arguably the hottest of the Original Six in recent years.
Chicago Blackhawks Team History
Major Frederic McLaughlin, an American businessman who served in the U.S. Army, was the original owner of the team. He named the team the Black Hawks, having served in the “Blackhawk Division” in the U.S. Army, officially the 86th Infantry. (The team name was slightly changed, to the Blackhawks — one word — in 1986.) Black Hawk was a prominent leader of the Sauk American Indian Tribe: Both McLaughlin’s military unit and NHL team were named in his honor.
The Blackhawks’ primary logo is one of the most recognizable and dramatic in all of sports. Many fans may be surprised to learn that the original logo was designed by McLaughlin’s wife, Irene Castle, a celebrated dancer and actress on Broadway and in the silent film era. The logo, as well as the tomahawk cross secondary logo, have undergone several design changes over the years.
For most of the Chicago Blackhawks history, home games were played in the Chicago Stadium on Chicago’s West Side. The Stadium was torn down in 1994 and replaced by the United Center, where the Blackhawks (and Chicago Bulls) have played since. One of the notable traditions of Blackhawks home games is for fans to clap and cheer at maximum volume throughout the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Notable Blackhawks Team and Individual Accomplishments
- How many Stanley Cups do the Blackhawks have? At the moment, six — 1933-34, 1937-38, 1960-61, 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2014-15.
- To go with those Stanley Cups, the Blackhawks also lay claim to four conference championships and 16 division championships.
- The team has 39 players and 10 builders of the sport in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Some famous Blackhawks in the Hall include:
- Tony Esposito, one of the greatest goalies to ever play in the NHL.
- Bobby Hull, “The Golden Jet.” Hull is still associated with the Blackhawks as a team ambassador.
- Stan Mikita, one of the NHL’s top centers of all time, who passed away in 2018.
- Denis Savard, who played for and coached the Blackhawks, and is still involved with the team.
- Players whose numbers have been retired by the Chicago Blackhawks team:
- #1 — Glenn Hall, sweater retired in 1988.
- #3 — Pierre Pilote, sweater retired in 2008.
- #3 — Keith Magnuson, sweater retired in 2008.
- #9 — Bobby Hull, sweater retired in 1983.
- #10 — Denis Savard, sweater retired in 1998.
- #21 — Stan Mikita, sweater retired in 1980.
- #25 — Tony Esposito, sweater retired in 1988.
- Some Blackhawks team records worth remembering:
- Most points in a season: 112 in 2009-10.
- Fewest points in a season: 31 (in 71 games) in 1953-54.
- The biggest win for the Hawks was 12-0 over the Philadelphia Flyers in 1969. (Unfortunately for home-team fans, the game was played in Philly.)
- The biggest loss for the Hawks was 12-0, at the hands of their arch rivals, the Detroit Red Wings, in 1987 at the Chicago Stadium.
- Tony Esposito holds the team record for most wins and losses by a goalie — 418 wins and 302 losses.