The week of Christmas has seen more presents under the tree for the Chicago Blackhawks than coal in the stocking. Hat tricks have been a somewhat frequent occurrence during this week of team history. In addition, there are plenty of birthdays to celebrate as we head into the final days of the year.
1971 – Bobby Hull scored the 28th and final hat trick of his career during a 4-1 win over the California Golden Seals. At the time, 28 hat tricks were the most ever scored in the league. Hull is now tied with Marcel Dionne for the seventh most in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky (50), Mario Lemieux (40), Mike Bossy (34), Brett Hull (33), Phil Esposito (32), and Alex Ovechkin (29).
1974 – Tony Esposito recorded his 51st career shutout to lead the Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. This tied him with Hall of Famer Glenn Hall for the most shutouts in franchise history.
1988 – Scott Darling was born in Newport News, VA. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent goaltender on July 1, 2014. He spent three seasons in Chicago and went 39-17-9 with a 2.37 goals-against average (GAA), .923 save percentage (SV%), and four shutouts. His biggest moment came during the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Corey Crawford struggling, Darling was the winning goalie for all four victories in the series against the Nashville Predators before relinquishing the net back to Crawford. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for a third-round pick on April 28, 2017. The Blackhawks used the draft pick to select Evan Barratt.
1989 – Rookie Jeremy Roenick scored his first career hat trick in a 7-5 win at the Maple Leafs. He had 10 regular-season hat tricks in his career, six with the Blackhawks and four with the Phoenix Coyotes.
1929 – Red Sullivan was born in Peterborough, ON. He was acquired from the Boston Bruins for cash on Sept. 10, 1954. He scored 33 goals and 101 points during his two seasons with the Blackhawks. On June 19, 1956, Sullivan was traded to the New York Rangers for Wally Hergesheimer. During his time with the Rangers, he was speared in the stomach by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Doug Harvey and nearly died from a ruptured spleen. Sullivan made a full recovery and returned to the New York lineup. After his playing days ended, he became New York’s head coach. He eventually became the first head coach in Pittsburgh Penguins’ history.
1933 – Fred Sasakamoose was born in Sandy Lake Reserve, SK. When he made his NHL debut on Nov. 20, 1953, he became the first First Nations player in the league. Sasakamoose was held pointless in his 11 career NHL games during the 1953-54 season.
1951 – Dave Kryskow was born in Edmonton, AB. The Blackhawks selected the left wing in the second round (26th overall) of the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft. He had eight goals and 20 points in 83 games before being drafted by the Washington Capitals during the 1974 NHL Expansion Draft.
1967 – Stan Mikita scored a goal and extended his team-record assist streak to 14 straight games in the Blackhawks’ 3-1 win over the visiting Canadiens. He recorded 18 assists during the 14-game streak.
1968 – Jim Dowd was born in Brick, NJ. The Blackhawks were one of 10 teams the center played for during his 16-season NHL career. He signed in Chicago on Aug. 5, 2005. After scoring three goals and 15 points in 60 games, Dowd was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round pick on March 9, 2006. That pick was later traded to the Maple Leafs, and they used it to select goaltender James Reimer.
1937 – Gene Ubriaco was born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. He was acquired from the Oakland Seals for Howie Menard on Dec. 15, 1969. He had a goal and two points in his 22 games for the Blackhawks. Ubriaco is better known for his career off the ice than his 177 NHL games. He was head coach of the Penguins for two seasons in the late 1980s and coached the 1992 Italian Olympic team. The Chicago Wolves named him their first head coach in team history, and he remains a part of the organization to this day as a senior advisor.
1976 – Esposito became the 11th goaltender in NHL history to win 250 games in the Blackhawks’ 5-3 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies.
1998 – Doug Gilmour scored a goal to give him 1,200 career points during the Blackhawks’ 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He was the 27th player in league history to score 1,200 points.
1909 – Oscar Hanson was born in Camrose, AB. The center played eight games for the Blackhawks during the 1937-38 season and did not register a point.
1971 – Bryan Smolinski was born in Toledo, OH. He played 62 of his 1,056 NHL games in Chicago. The veteran center was acquired from the Ottawa Senators with a Martin Havlat for Michal Barinka, Josh Hennessy, Tom Preissing, and a second-round pick. Smolinski had 14 goals and 37 points before he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for a second-round pick on Feb. 26, 2007. The pick was used to take Akim Aliu.
1975 – Brad Brown was born in Baie Verte, NL. The defenseman was acquired with Dave Manson and Jocelyn Thibault from the Canadiens for Jeff Hackett, Alain Nasreddine, Eric Weinrich, and a fourth-round pick on Nov. 16, 1998. Brown had a goal and 17 points in 118 games before he was traded to the Rangers with Michal Grosek for unknown compensation on Oct. 5, 2000.
1976 – Fernando Pisani was born in Edmonton, AB. He signed with the Blackhawks on Aug. 24, 2010. The right wing had seven goals and 16 points in 60 games during the 2010-11 season, his final in the NHL.
1981 – Patrick Sharp was born in Winnipeg, MB. The dynamic left wing was acquired with Eric Meloche from the Flyers for Matt Ellison and a third-round pick on Dec. 5, 2005. He scored 239 goals and 512 points in 679 games and was a key contributor to three Stanley Cup wins in 2010, 2013, and 2015. On July 12, 2015, Sharp was traded with Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt. He returned to Chicago as a free agent in the summer of 2017. He had 10 goals and 21 points in 70 games during the 2017-18 season.
1981 – Nikita Alexeev was born in Murmansk, USSR. The Tampa Bay Lightning used the eighth overall pick of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft to select the right wing. He was traded to the Blackhawks for Karl Stewart and a sixth-round pick on Feb. 27, 2007. He had two goals in 15 games before returning to Russia to play.
1991 – Brian Noonan scored his second career hat trick as Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets skated to a 3-3 tie, extending their home undefeated streak against the Jets to 10 games (8-0-2).
1974 – Dennis Hull became the fifth player to score 250 goals as a member of the Blackhawks in a 2-1 win over the Flyers.
1992 – Tomas Jurco was born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia. He was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings for a third-round draft pick on Feb. 24, 2017. Jurco had seven goals and 11 points in 42 games before being released following the 2017-18 season.