As June winds down, the Chicago Blackhawks had a very busy week over the years. They capped off one of their most successful seasons with an incredible Stanley Cup victory. There were multiple drafts, coaching hires, and a memorable swap of future Hall of Famers.
1906 – Ken Doraty was born in Stittsville, ON. He played 18 games for the Blackhawks during the 1926-27 season and did not pick up any points.
1923 – Gaye Stewart was born in Fort William, ON. After winning the 1943 Calder Trophy and two Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was acquired by the Blackhawks in a 1947 trade that sent Max Bentley the other way. He scored 70 goals and 136 points in 178 games and was traded in 1950 with Bob Goldham, Jim Henry, and Metro Prystai to the Detroit Red Wings for Pete Babando, Al Dewsbury, Harry Lumley, Don Morrison, and Jack Stewart.
2000 – The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild filled out their rosters at the NHL Expansion Draft held in Calgary. The Blackhawks’ protected players included Tony Amonte, Michael Nylander, Steve Sullivan, Jocelyn Thibault, and Alex Zhamnov. They lost defenseman Radim Bicanek to the Blue Jackets and center Jeff Daw to the Wild.
2001 – The Florida Panthers hosted the NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, FL. The Blackhawks had a pair of first-round picks and used them to select forward Tuomo Ruutu (9th overall) and goaltender Adam Munro (29th overall). Ruutu scored 48 goals and 108 points in 228 games before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2008 for Andrew Ladd. Munro appeared in 17 NHL games before he headed to Europe in 2006. The other notable pick from this draft class was netminder Craig Anderson in the third round.
2017 – The United Center was the center of the hockey world as it hosted the NHL Entry Draft for the first time. The Blackhawks used their first-round pick (29th overall) to take defenseman Henri Jokiharju. Other members of this draft who are still with the organization include Ian Mitchell, Andrei Altybarmakian, Evan Barratt, and Jakub Galvas.
However, the biggest news of the day was made before the draft. Then general manager Stan Bowman felt it was time for a shakeup after a quick first-round exit, thanks to the Nashville Predators. He started by trading Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for Laurent Dauphin and Connor Murphy. The popular Swedish-born defender played 623 games and won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. In hindsight, Chicago has gotten the better end of this trade, but it still stung at the time.
Bowman wasn’t done as he traded Artemi Panarin to the Blue Jackets for goaltender Anton Forsberg and Brandon Saad. Panarin had 61 goals and 151 points in his two seasons with the Blackhawks. Since this trade, he has consistently produced and been a star for the New York Rangers for the past three seasons. Saad’s second run in Chicago wasn’t terrible, with 44 goals and 80 points in two seasons before he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 2020 for Nikita Zadorov.
1905 – Johnny Gottselig was born in Odessa, Russia. The forward played 591 games over 16 seasons with the Blackhawks from 1928 until 1945. He scored 176 goals and 372 points and won Stanley Cups in 1934 and 1938.
1930 – Center Dave Creighton was born in Port Arthur, ON. He was acquired from the Maple Leafs for cash in 1954. He had seven goals and 14 points in 49 games before being traded to the Red Wings in 1955. His son Adam played 255 games in Chicago during the 90s.
1946 – Defenseman Tom Reid was born in Fort Erie, ON. He played the first 86 games of his career with the Blackhawks. In 1969, he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars for Andre Boudrias and Mike McMahon and spent the next 10 seasons in the Twin Cities. He is currently the Wild’s radio analyst and owns a popular sports bar across the street from Xcel Energy Center.
1961 – Bernie Nicholls was born in Haliburton, ON. He spent two seasons with the Blackhawks after signing as a free agent in 1994. He had 41 goals and 111 points in his 107 games with the team.
1964 – Gary Suter was born in Madison, WI. The Blackhawks acquired him in 1994 from the Hartford Whalers for Frantisek Kucera and Jocelyn Lemieux. The veteran defenseman had 53 goals and 179 points in 301 games before being traded to the San Jose Sharks in 1998 for a ninth-round draft pick.
1976 – Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr signed as a free agent after 11 seasons with the Bruins. Unfortunately, his best days were behind him as knee injuries limited him to just 26 games in a Blackhawks uniform over two seasons.
1976 – Jean-Yves Leroux was born in Montreal, QC. The Blackhawks selected him in the second round (40th overall) of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 16 goals and 38 points in 220 games for the team.
1993 – The Expansion Draft was held in Quebec City, QC, with the Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim each selecting one player for every NHL team. Steve Larmer, Joe Murphy, Jeremy Roenick, and Ed Belfour were among the Blackhawks’ protected players. They lost defenseman Milan Tichy to Florida and winger Stu Grimson to Anaheim.
2000 – The Calgary Flames hosted the NHL Entry Draft. The Blackhawks had an unspectacular draft, to say the least. They took Mikhail Yakubov and Pavel Vorobiev with the 10th and 11th overall picks. The Russian duo combined for 12 goals and 34 points in 97 games for the Blackhawks. The remaining 13 players selected played in a total of 76 NHL games.
2006 – The NHL Entry Draft, held in Vancouver, was much better than what we saw six years earlier. After Erik Johnson was taken first overall by the St. Louis Blues and Jordan Staal went second to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Dale Tallon selected center Jonathan Toews out of the University of North Dakota. I don’t think we need to explain how important this draft pick was to the future success of this organization. No other pick from this class ever played for the Blackhawks, but adding the greatest captain in team history makes up for that and then some!
2011 – St. Paul, MN, hosted the NHL Entry Draft. The Blackhawks had a fairly successful draft. They used their two first-round picks on Mark McNeill (18th overall) and Phillip Danault (26th overall). Saad was the second of two second-round picks after defenseman Adam Clendening. Andrew Shaw was taken in the fifth round (139th overall).
2013 – The Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in four seasons by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2 in one of the most memorable playoff games ever played. Toews tied the game at 1-1 with an unassisted goal early in the second period. Milan Lucic put the Bruins up 2-1 with less than eight minutes to play. It started to look like the series was coming back to Chicago for a seventh and final game, then Bryan Bickell tied the game at 18:44. The Blackhawks won the ensuing faceoff, and 17 seconds later, Dave Bolland stunned the Boston crowd by scoring the Cup-clinching goal.
Patrick Kane was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for scoring nine goals and 19 points during the postseason.
2016 – The NHL Entry Draft took place in Buffalo, NY. The Blackhawks did not have a first-round pick as it was traded to the Winnipeg Jets at the deadline to reacquire Andrew Ladd. They hit a home run with their first of three second-round picks when they took Alex DeBrincat with the 39th overall pick. The rest of the draft class has not panned out so well. The most notable picks were Chad Krys, Artur Kayumov, Lucas Carlsson, and Blake Hillman.
1921 – Ernie Dickens was born in Winnipeg, MB. The defenseman played 253 games for the Blackhawks after acquiring him from the Maple Leafs in the same trade that also landed Stewart in 1947.
1944 – Ken Hodge was born in Birmingham, England. He played the first 132 games of his career with the Blackhawks before being included in the awful 1967 trade that sent Phil Esposito to the Bruins. Hodge became a star in Boston, scoring 289 goals and 674 points in 652 games and won a pair of Stanley Cups.
1957 – Goalie Greg Millen was born in Toronto, ON. The Blackhawks were one of six teams he played for in his 14-season NHL career. He was acquired with Michel Goulet in 1990 from the Quebec Nordiques for Mario Doyon, Everett Sanipass, and Dan Vincelette. After appearing in just 13 games, he was moved to the Rangers in 1991 for unknown compensation.
1963 – Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour was born in Kingston, ON. He signed in Chicago as a free agent in 1998. After 38 goals and 112 points in 135 games, in 2000, he was traded with J.P. Dumont to the Buffalo Sabres for Michal Grosek.
1979 – The Blackhawks received the Nordiques’ first-round pick in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft in agreement to not reclaim forward Real Cloutier. They used that pick to select Hall of Famer Denis Savard. The Blackhawks drafted Cloutier ninth overall in the 1976 NHL Entry Draft, but he decided to stay with the Nordiques in the World Hockey Association. When the WHA folded and Quebec joined the NHL, the Blackhawks still held Cloutier’s rights.
1980 – Sebastien Caron was born in Amqui, Quebec. The Blackhawks signed the goaltender as a free agent in 2006. He started one game before he was traded with Chris Durno and Matt Keith to the Anaheim Ducks for P.A. Parenteau and Bruno St. Jacques.
1992 – Jordan Oesterle was born in Dearborn Heights, MI. The defenseman signed with the Blackhawks in 2017. He had five goals and 15 points in his lone season with Chicago. In 2018, he was traded with a third-round pick, Vinnie Hinostroza and Marián Hossa, to the Coyotes for a fifth-round pick, Jordan Maletta, Andrew Campbell, Mackenzie Entwistle, and Marcus Kruger.
1999 – The NHL Expansion Draft took place in Boston as the Atlanta Thrashers chose one player from each franchise except for the Predators, who entered the league the previous season. The Thrashers selected center Sylvain Cloutier off the Blackhawks’ roster. He never played in the NHL for Atlanta.
2010 – The NHL Entry Draft was held in Los Angeles. The Blackhawks selected Kevin Hayes with the 24th overall pick, but he never signed with the team. Other picks who have since made the NHL included Justin Holl, Stephen Johns, and Joakim Nordstrom.
1993 – Quebec City hosted the NHL Entry Draft. The Blackhawks’ best pick came in the fourth round (90th overall) when they selected Eric Daze from nearby Montreal. He had 226 goals and 398 points in his 601 games for the team. The only other picks who played in the NHL were Eric Manlow (37 games) and Ryan Huska (1 game).
1998 – Yet another NHL Expansion Draft was in Buffalo, as the Predators built their inaugural roster. The Blackhawks lost center Greg Johnson, who played 502 games over the next seven seasons in Nashville.
1999 – The NHL Entry Draft was held in Boston. The Blackhawks selected defenseman Steve McCarthy in the first round (23rd overall). He played 134 games over five seasons in Chicago before being shipped to the Vancouver Canucks in 2005 for a third-round pick. The only other member of this draft class to play in the NHL was goaltender and sixth-round pick (165th overall) Michael Leighton, who the Blackhawks beat in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.
2004 – The Hurricanes hosted the NHL Entry Draft. After Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin went first and second overall, the Blackhawks selected defenseman Cam Barker. Ladd was taken Carolina with the fourth pick. This draft produced some key players of the Stanley Cup era like Bolland, Bickell, and Troy Brouwer.
2009 – The NHL Entry Draft returned to Montreal. The Blackhawks selected defenseman Dylan Olsen in the first round (28th overall). In 2013, he was traded to the Panthers with Jimmy Hayes in 2013 for Kris Versteeg. Other notable picks included Brandon Pirri in the second round and Kruger in the fifth.
2015 – Connor McDavid was drafted with the first pick of the NHL Entry Draft, held in Sunrise, FL. Future Blackhawk Dylan Strome was taken third overall by the Coyotes. The Blackhawks did not have a first-round pick as it was traded to Arizona for Antoine Vermette. Their first selection was forward Graham Knott (54th overall). This was a failure of a draft as defenseman Dennis Gilbert was the only player taken to ever dress for the Blackhawks.
1931 – Lou Jankowski was born in Regina, SK. He was acquired from the Red Wings in 1953 and scored 18 goals and 33 points in 108 games for the Blackhawks.
1945 – Doug Shelton was born in Woodstock, ON. The right wing only played in five games for the Blackhawks, picking up one assist. In 1969, he was sent to the North Stars to complete the trade that included Reid. He never played in NHL after this deal.
1972 – Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull signed a 10-year contract with the Jets to leave the NHL and join the upstart WHA. His deal was worth a record $2.75 million over its duration. He scored 303 goals and 638 points in 411 WHA games and helped Winnipeg win league championships in 1976, 1978, and 1979. He won the Gary L. Davidson Award for being the league’s most valuable player twice, in 1973 and 1975.
1998 – The NHL Entry Draft took place in Buffalo. The Blackhawks used the eighth overall pick to take forward Mark Bell. They later drafted his future linemate, Tyler Arnason, in the seventh round. The duo played 584 games in Chicago and put up 129 goals and 290 points. The only other player from this draft to make the NHL was defenseman Kent Huskins, taken in the sixth round. However, none of his 318 career games came in a Blackhawks uniform.
1998 – The Flyers traded blueliner Paul Coffey to the Blackhawks for a future fifth-round pick. The Hall of Famer’s time in Chicago was rather forgettable as it only lasted for 10 games before he was traded to the Hurricanes for Nelson Emerson.
2014 – The NHL Entry Draft was held at the Wells Fargo Center, the home of the Flyers. The Blackhawks took Nick Schmaltz 20th overall, and he was later traded to the Coyotes for Strome. The only other player from another disappointing Bowman draft to play in the NHL was sixth-rounder Dylan Sikura.
1922 – George Gee was born in Stratford, ON. The Blackhawks signed the center in 1941. After 48 goals and 110 points in 159 games, he was traded to Detroit in 1948 with Bud Poile for Jim Conacher, Bep Guidolin, and Doug McCaig. The Red Wings traded him back to Chicago in 1951. He played the final three seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks, scoring 38 goals and 114 points.
1994 – The Whalers hosted the NHL Entry Draft. The Blackhawks selected Ethan Moreau with the 14th overall pick. In 1999, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers with Dan Cleary, Chad Kilger, and Christian Laflamme for Jonas Elofsson, Dean McAmmond, and Boris Mironov. Leroux was taken in the second round. The only other pick to play in the NHL was fourth-rounder Steve McLaren, who played six games for the Blues.
1896 – Ty Arbour was born in Waubaushene, ON. He was acquired in 1927 in part of a three-team trade involving the Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Pirates. The winger scored 21 goals and 41 points in 160 games for the Blackhawks.
1968 – Theo Fleury was born in Oxbow, SK. The Blackhawks signed the controversial forward in 2002. He played 54 games in Chicago, the last of his NHL career, scoring 12 goals and 33 points. He was suspended in 2002 and 2003 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
1989 – Hobey Baker Award winner Drew Leblanc was born in Duluth, MN. He was signed as a college free agent in 2013 and appeared in two games for the Blackhawks.
1990 – The Blackhawks acquired Chris Chelios from the Montreal Canadiens for Savard. Chelios played in 664 games in his hometown, scoring 92 goals and 487 points with a plus-120 rating. He won the Norris Trophy in 1993 and 1996 and helped the Blackhawks reach the 1992 Stanley Cup Final. He remained with the team until he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in March of 1999. Savard was part of the Canadiens’ 1993 Stanley Cup win. He returned to Chicago as a free agent that offseason.
1995 – Craig Hartburg was named the 30th head coach in franchise history, replacing Darryl Sutter, who resigned a few days earlier.
1998 – Former captain Dirk Graham was named head coach, with Savard and Lorne Molleken added as his assistants.