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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Bobby Hull born, Winter Classic memories & more

Greg Boysen Avatar
December 30, 2022

The ringing in of the New Year has meant a lot of outdoor hockey for the Chicago Blackhawks with very little success. In addition, family history was made, and the franchise’s greatest goal scorer is among the many birthdays we are celebrating this week. So, let’s hop aboard the CHGO time machine and relive all the most significant moments from this week in team history.

Dec. 29

1945 – Montreal Canadiens legend Maurice Richard scored twice in a 5-4 loss to the Blackhawks. The two goals gave him 100 in 145 NHL games, making him the fastest player to score 100 career goals in NHL history.

1964 – Bobby Hull scored a pair of goals to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-2 win at the New York Rangers. The victory extended their undefeated streak to 11 games (10-0-1) and gave them a team-record seven straight wins on the road.

1991 – Brian Noonan lit the lamp four times in a 6-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Noonan scored seven straight goals for the Blackhawks, as he had the only three the team scored in the previous game.

1995 – Chris Chelios picked up his 500th career assist in the Blackhawks’ 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. His defensive partner, Gary Suter, factored in all of Chicago’s scoring with a goal and four assists. All five Chicago goals came via the power play.

1998 – The Blackhawks traded Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey to the Carolina Hurricanes for right wing Nelson Emerson. Coffey played just 10 games for the Blackhawks after he was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers the previous offseason. Emerson had four goals and 14 points in 27 games for the Blackhawks before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators for Chris Murray on March 23, 1999.

2017 – Jeff Glass made his first NHL start and helped the Blackhawks to a 4-3 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers. At 32 years and 40 days old, he was the second oldest goaltender in the expansion era to make his league debut. Only Rob Zepp of the Flyers was older (34 years, 106 days) in his first game.

Dec. 30

1978 – Rob Scuderi was born in Syosset, NY. The Blackhawks acquired the two-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Trevor Daley on Dec. 14, 2015. He had no points in 17 games before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Christian Ehrhoff on Feb. 26, 2016.

Dec. 31

1904 – Charlie Gardiner was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Hall of Fame goaltender played his entire NHL career with the Blackhawks. In his seven seasons, he won two Vezina Trophies for allowing the fewest goals and was named to the First All-Star Team three times and Second All-Star Team once. During the 1928-29 season, the Blackhawks scored a league-low 33 goals, but Gardiner still posted five shutouts and a 1.85 goals-against average (GAA). He finished his career with a 112-151-52 record with a 2.02 GAA and 42 shutouts. He was elected team captain for the 1933-34 season.

Gardiner developed a tonsil infection during the 1932-33 season, but he continued to play despite suffering from a lack of energy and strength. His condition worsened in 1934, including suffering from uremic convulsions, yet he kept playing. On June 10, 1934, he collapsed and fell into a coma. Gardiner died three days later from a brain hemorrhage caused by the tonsil infection. He was part of the inaugural Hockey Hall of Fame class of 1945.

1954 – Terry Ruskowski was born in Prince Albert, SK. The center was a fourth-round pick (70th overall) by the Blackhawks in 1974. However, he did not play in the NHL until 1979 because he decided to play for the Houston Aeros in the World Hockey Association (WHA) first. Ruskowski played four seasons with the Blackhawks and scored 30 goals and 168 points in 211 games. On Oct. 24, 1982, he was traded to the Kings for Larry Goodenough and a third-round pick used to select Trent Yawney. He served as captain of the Aeros, Blackhawks, Kings, and eventually the Penguins to be the only player in professional sports to captain four different teams.

1963 – Paul Gillis was born in Toronto, ON. He was acquired with Dan Vincelette from the Quebec Nordiques for Ryan McGill and Mike McNeill on March 5, 1991. Gillis had five assists in 15 games before being traded to the Hartford Whalers for unknown compensation on Jan. 27, 1992.

1974 – Scott Nichol was born in Edmonton, AB. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent center on July 1, 2003. He had seven goals and 18 points in 75 games during his lone season in Chicago. Nichol is currently the general manager of the Milwaukee Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators.

1984 – Corey Crawford was born in Montreal, QC. Originally a second-round pick (52nd overall) in 2003, he played 488 games for the Blackhawks between 2006 and 2020 and was the backstop for the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup teams. Crawford’s name is all over the Blackhawks’ record book. He is third in franchise history in games played (488), wins (260), and GAA (2.45), second in save percentage (SV%) (.918), and fifth in shutouts (26). He is the franchise leader in playoff wins with 52.  

1990 – Rookie goaltender Ed Belfour stopped 22 shots for his second career shutout as the Blackhawks picked up their first road shutout in more than six years with a 4-0 win at the Red Wings.

1995 – Jeff Hackett made 29 saves to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. This was Hackett’s eighth straight win, tying a team record set initially by Hall of Famer Tony Esposito.

1998 – Josiah Slavin was born in Erie, CO. The left wing was taken in the seventh round (193rd overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He has one assist in 15 career NHL games, all coming during the 2021-22 season. Slavin has 22 goals and 46 points in 93 career games for the Rockford IceHogs, where he currently serves as an alternate captain.

2017 – Jaromir Jagr skated in his final NHL game for the Calgary Flames, a 4-3 overtime win over the Blackhawks. The legendary winger had 15 goals and 29 points in 34 career games against Chicago.

Jan. 1

1893 – Barney Stanley was born in Paisley, ON. The Hall of Fame right wing was the second head coach in Blackhawks history when he was hired in 1927. He held the job for just 23 games, as he was let go after a 4-17-2 start. He did appear in one game as a player but did not find the scoresheet. Stanley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962 for his successful playing career in Western Canada, which included a Stanley Cup win with the Vancouver Millionaires in 1915.

1901 – Val Hoffinger was born in Seltz, Russia. The Blackhawks acquired the defenseman from the Saskatoon Sheiks of the Prairie Hockey League on Jan. 11, 1928. He had one assist in 28 games over two seasons in Chicago.

1904 – Nick Wasnie was born in Winnipeg, MB. He had a goal in 14 games for the Blackhawks during the 1927-28 season. On Jan. 11, 1928, he was traded to the Saskatoon Sheiks in the deal that brought Hoffinger to Chicago. Wasnie eventually ended up with the Canadiens, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1930 and 1931.

1909 – Doc Romnes was born in White Bear Lake, MN. The forward played 309 games over nine seasons with the Blackhawks. He had 60 goals and 180 points and was part of the Stanley Cup wins in 1934 and 1938. On Dec. 8, 1928, Romnes was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Bill Thoms. He became a successful coach for Michigan Tech and the University of Minnesota and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973.

1910 – Jack Leswick was born in Saskatoon, SK. He had one goal and eight points for the Blackhawks during the 1933-34 season. Leswick was found dead on Aug. 4, 1934, under suspicious circumstances. His body was found in the Assiniboine River outside Winnipeg without his wallet or other valuables. His death was ruled either an accident or suicide. He was 24. Leswick is the uncle of former Major League Baseball player Lenny Dykstra.

1936 – Paul Thompson scored the first penalty shot in Blackhawks’ franchise history during a 4-2 loss to the visiting Red Wings.

1943 – Reg Bentley made his Blackhawks debut in a 6-5 win over the Rangers. He joined his older siblings, Max and Doug, to become the first set of three brothers to play on the same team.

1964 – Ken Yaremchuk was born in Edmonton, AB. The Blackhawks used the seventh overall pick of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft to select the centerman. He had 30 goals and 73 points in 188 games over three seasons in Chicago. On Sept. 6, 1986, he was sent to the Maple Leafs with Jerome Dupont and a fourth-round pick as compensation for the Blackhawks signing free agent Gary Nylund.

2009 – Historic Wrigley Field was the first baseball stadium to host a Winter Classic as the Blackhawks welcomed in their bitter Original 6 rival, the Red Wings. This day signified the return to national prominence for the Blackhawks, but they still had trouble with the defending Stanley Cup champions. Chicago held a 3-1 lead after the first period thanks to goals from Kris Versteeg, Martin Havlat, and Ben Eager. Detroit stormed back with five straight goals to take home a 6-4 win. Future Blackhawks star Marian Hossa had three assists for the Red Wings.

2015 – Troy Brouwer got revenge on his former team as he helped the Washington Capitals beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in the Winter Classic at Nationals Park. He scored on the power play with just 12.9 seconds left to break the 2-2 deadlock. Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad scored for the Blackhawks to erase an early 2-0 deficit.

2019 – The Blackhawks hosted the Boston Bruins at legendary Notre Dame Stadium for the NHL’s yearly outdoor tradition. Chicago built a 2-1 lead midway through the second period with goals from Brendan Perlini and Dominik Kahun before Boston scored the final three goals in a 4-2 victory.

Jan. 2

1977 – Brian Boucher was born in Woonsocket, RI. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent goaltender on Sept. 24, 2006. He went 1-10-3 with a 3.27 GAA and .884 SV% before he was claimed off waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 27, 2007.

1983 – Andrew Ebbett was born in Vernon, BC. The Blackhawks claimed the center off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 17, 2009. He had one goal in 10 games before the Minnesota Wild selected him off waivers on Nov. 21, 2009.

2017 – The St. Louis Blues hosted the Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in the annual Winter Classic. The two longtime rivals entered the third period tied at 1-1 after goals by Michal Kempny and Patrik Berglund. In the third period, Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals just 1:52 apart before Alexander Steen’s empty-net goal sealed a 4-1 victory for the home team.

Jan. 3

1902 – Gord Fraser was born in Pembroke, ON. The defenseman had 15 goals and 22 points in 54 games over two seasons for the Blackhawks after being acquired from the Detroit Cougars with Art Gagne for Art Duncan on October 18, 1926. Fraser was traded back to the Cougars for Duke Keats on Dec. 16, 1927.

1939 – Hull was born in Point Anne, ON.  The “Golden Jet” played 1,036 games over 15 seasons with the Blackhawks, scoring 604 goals and 1,153 points. His career highlights include being the first player with more than one 50-goal season, winning three scoring titles, two Hart Trophies, and one Stanley Cup.

1943 – The Blackhawks made family history in their 3-3 tie with the New York Rangers. Reg Bentley scored the opening goal of the game, with his brothers Doug and Max getting credit for the assists. This was the first goal in NHL history with all three points going to brothers.

1945 – Mike Walton was born in Kirkland Lake, ON. Chicago was the final stop in his 15-season professional career. The veteran center signed with the Blackhawks on Jan. 22, 1979. He had six goals and nine points in his last 26 NHL games.

1960 – Jacques Cloutier was born in Noranda, QC. The netminder was acquired with a fifth-round pick from the Sabres for Steve Ludzik and a sixth-round pick. Cloutier went 20-18-2 with a 3.16 GAA, .877 SV%, and three shutouts before he was traded to the Nordiques for Tony McKegney on Jan. 29, 1991.

1969 – Steve Poapst was born in Cornwall, ON. The blueliner signed with the Blackhawks on July 27, 2000. He had seven goals and 30 points in 220 games before moving on to the Penguins in 2005.

1991 – Dylan Olsen was born in Salt Lake City, UT. The Blackhawks drafted the defenseman in the first round (28th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He had an assist in 28 NHL during the 2011-12 season. On Nov. 14, 2013, he was traded with Jimmy Hayes to the Florida Panthers for Versteeg and Philippe Lefebvre.

1998 – Dylan Wells was born in St. Catharines, ON. The goaltender made his NHL debut in a relief appearance against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 5, 2022. He is currently playing with the Indy Fuel in ECHL and has spent time with the IceHogs.

Jan. 4

1933 – Earl Balfour was born in Toronto, ON. The Blackhawks claimed the left wing from the Maple Leafs in the 1958 NHL Intra-League Draft. He had 16 goals and 32 points in 208 games before he was lost to the Bruins in the 1961 Intra-League Draft.

1977 – Dmitri Nabokov was born in Novosibirsk, USSR. He was a first-round pick (19th overall) of the Blackhawks in 1995. The forward had seven goals and 11 points in 25 games during the 1997-98 season. On June 1, 1998, he was traded to the New York Islanders for J.P. Dumont, and a fifth-round pick later traded to the Flyers.

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