Late August does not equate to much hockey news, but on the bright side, September is just right around the corner! This upcoming week in Chicago Blackhawks history saw a pair of team owners get their call to the Hockey Hall of Fame, a future beloved broadcaster brought back to the Windy City, and a slew of birthdays. Let’s hope aboard the CHGO time machine and look back at all the memories this week has to offer.
1952 – Mike Veisor was born in Toronto, ON. The Blackhawks selected the netminder in the third round (45th overall) of the 1972 NHL Amateur. He was once described as “One of the most agile goaltenders around; plays goal like a trapeze artist.” He appeared in 62 games over six seasons between 1973 and 1980. Vesior went 20-24-15 with a .902 save percentage (SV%), 3.29 goals-against average (GAA), and three shutouts in his time with Chicago. In 1980, he was traded to the Hartford Whalers for a second-round pick, used on Kevin Griffin, who never played in the NHL.
1939 – Defenseman Bill White was born in Toronto, ON. He was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in 1970 with Bryan Campbell and Gerry Desjardins for Denis DeJordy, Gilles Marotte, and Jim Stanfield. He played 415 games for the Blackhawks, scoring 30 goals and 179 points.
1971 – Arthur Wirtz was part of the Hockey Hall of Fame induction class. He began his journey in the hockey world by partnering with James E. Norris in buying arenas at reduced prices during the Great Depression. In 1933, they purchased the Olympia Stadium and the Detroit Falcons, who became the Red Wings. Two years later, the duo bought the Chicago Stadium. He also became part owner of Madison Square Garden and the St. Louis Arena. In 1946, he helped James D. Norris to buy the Blackhawks. Wirtz left the Red Wings and joined the Blackhawks’ board of directors in 1951. He became president in 1954 and led the team to the 1961 Stanley Cup championship. Busher Jackson, Gord Roberts, Terry Sawchuk, and Cooney Weiland were also part of the 1971 Hall of Fame class.
1976 – Exactly five years after his father got the call, William Wirtz was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He served as Blackhawks president for 41 years and spent 18 seasons as the NHL’s Chairman of the Board of Governors. He is mainly known as “Dollar Bill” by Blackhawks fans, thanks to his repeated refusal to pay top players. From Bobby Hull to Jeremey Roenick to Ed Belfour, you could fill a wing in the Hall of Fame with the players he either let walk or trade for below market value. He also did not allow home games to be shown on local TV with the idea that it would help increase ticket sales.
1995 – Antony Duclair was born in Pointe-Clair, QC. On Jan. 10, 2018, the Blackhawks acquired the left wing with Adam Clendening from the Arizona Coyotes for Laurent Dauphin and Richard Panik. He had two goals and eight points in 23 games to finish out the 2017-18 season. He signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets the following offseason.
1998 – The Blackhawks signed free-agent center Eddie Olczyk. This was “Edzo’s” second stint with the team after he was the third overall pick of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He played 94 games over his final two NHL seasons and scored 12 goals and 29 points before retiring in 2000.
1940 – Doug Robinson was born in St. Catharines, ON. He played 40 games for the Blackhawks during the 1964-64 season and scored two goals and 11 points. On Feb. 4, 1965, the left wing was traded with John Brenneman and Wayne Hillman to the New York Rangers for Wally Chevrier, Camille Henry, Don Johns, and Billy Taylor.
1966 – Former Blackhawks Max Bentley, Ted Lindsay, and Frank Brimsek were all elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bentley spent the most time in Chicago, scoring 109 goals and 256 points in 235 games over six seasons. The bulk of Lindsay’s success came with the Red Wings, but he spent three seasons with the Blackhawks between 1957 and 1960 and put up 44 goals and 123 points in 206 games. Brimsek became known as “Mr. Zero” with the Boston Bruins when he had 10 shutouts during his rookie season. He played the 1949-50 season, the final one of his career, with the Blackhawks and played all 70 games. He went 22-38-10 with a 3.49 GAA. The rest of this impressive class included Toe Blake, Butch Bouchard, Clarence Campbell, Ted Kennedy, Elmer Lach, Babe Pratt, and Ken Reardon.
1968 – Mario Doyon was born in Quebec City, QC. The Blackhawks took the defenseman in the sixth round (119th overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. He had a goal and an assist in seven games during the 1988-89 season. On March 5, 1990, he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques with Everett Sanipass and Dan Vincelette for Michel Goulet, Greg Millen, and a sixth-round draft pick.
1974 – Aaron Downey was born in Shelburne, ON. The right wing signed with the Blackhawks in 2000. He had a lone goal in 39 games over two seasons before signing with the Dallas Stars
1976 – Craig Mills was born in Toronto, ON. He was acquired from the Coyotes in 1996 with Alex Zhamnov in the trade that sent Jeremy Roenick to Arizona. He had three assists in 27 games for the Blackhawks over two seasons before he was traded back to the Coyotes for cash.
1998 – Brandon Hagel was born in Saskatoon, SK. Originally a sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2016, the feisty left wing scored 30 goals and 61 points in 108 games for the Blackhawks. This past March, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for two first-round picks, Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh. He chipped in with two goals and six points in 23 playoff games during Tampa’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.
1964 – Bill Mosienko was chosen to be part of a large Hockey Hall of Fame class. He spent his entire 14-season career with the Blackhawks, scoring 258 goals and 540 points in 711 games. He still holds the record for the fastest hat trick in NHL history, when he scored three goals against the Rangers in 21 seconds back in 1952. Mosienko won the Lady Bing Trophy in 1945 and played in five NHL All-Star Games. He was inducted with Marty Barry, Clint Benedict, Art Farrel, Foster Hewitt, Red Horner, Syd Howe, Tommy Lockhart, Jack Marshall, Blair Russell, and Fred Scalon.
1968 – New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald was born in Billerica, MA. Before moving to the front office, he played 1,097 games in the NHL over 17 seasons. He was acquired by the Blackhawks at the 2002 trade deadline from the Nashville Predators for a fourth-round pick. He had one goal and four points in 15 games before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs the following summer.
1975 – Two of the greatest Blackhawks of all time got their call to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Glenn Hall and Pierre Pilote were added to a class that included George Armstrong, Ace Bailey, Frank Buckland, Gordie Drillon, and William Jennings. Hall, a three-time Vezina Trophy winner, played 618 games for the Blackhawks. “Mr. Goalie” is credited with being one of the first netminders to use the butterfly style common in today’s game. His record of 502 consecutive games for a goaltender will never be broken. Pilote played 13 seasons in Chicago. The blueliner scored 77 goals and 477 points while racking up 1,211 penalty minutes. He and Hall won a Stanley Cup together in 1961.
2015 – Legenadry New York Islanders head coach Al Arbour died. Before he became one of the greatest bench bosses in NHL history, Arbour patrolled the blue line for 626 games. He played 180 of those with the Blackhawks and was part of the 1961 Stanley Cup team. He also won a pair of championships with the Maple Leafs in 1962 and 1964.
1928 – Max Quackenbush was born in Toronto, ON. The defenseman was acquired in a 1951 trade with the Red Wings for Doug McCaig. He suited up for just 14 games the following season, picking up a lone assist.
1964 – Doug Bentley and Jack Stewart were included in the Hockey Hall of Fame class with Angus Campbell, Bill Chadwick, Francis Dilio, Bill Durnan, and Babe Siebert. Bentley, Max’s older brother, played all put 20 of 545 NHL games with the Blackhawks. He had 217 goals and 531 points between 1940 and 1953. Stewart spent his final two seasons in Chicago, serving as captain, after 10 in Detroit. The defenseman had one goal and four points in 37 games. His career was believed to be over after suffering a back injury in 1950, but he returned to the ice and re-joined the Blackhawks after having a ruptured disc removed. In 1951, he suffered a fractured skull in a collision with teammate Clare Martin. He missed several weeks but did return to the lineup. However, the injuries eventually led Stewart to call it a career in February of 1952.
1983 – Goaltender Antti Niemi was born in Vantaa, Finland. After appearing in three games during the 2008-09 season, Niemi eventually became the full-time starter during the memorable 2009-10 season. He started all 22 postseason games, posting a .910 SV% and 2.63 GAA in helping the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. He became one of the first victims of the salary cap crunch as he signed with the San Jose Sharks shortly after the championship parade.
1902 – Duke Dukowski was born in Regina, SK. The defenseman played 103 games with the Blackhawks in two stints between 1926 and 1934. He had 11 goals and 26 points in his time with Chicago.
1941 – Mike McMahon was born in Quebec City, QC. On Feb. 14, 1969, the Blackhawks acquired the blueliner with Andre Boudrias from the Minnesota North Stars for Bill Orban, Tom Reid, and Doug Shelton. He had eight assists in 20 games before he was claimed off waivers by the Red Wings prior to the 1969-70 season.
1969 – Andrei Trefliov was born in Kirovo-Chepetsek, USSR. Originally a draft pick of the Calgary Flames, the goaltender was acquired from the Sabres on Nov. 12, 1997, for unknown compensation. He appeared in seven games for the Blackhawks over the next two seasons, going 1-5-0 with a .873 SV% and 3.89 GAA. He was traded back to the Flames, again for unknown compensation, on Dec. 29, 1998.