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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Denis Savard born, Eric Daze wins MVP & more

Greg Boysen Avatar
February 4, 2023

The NHL is enjoying its All-Star Weekend, and the Chicago Blackhawks have made plenty of All-Star memories of their own over the years, including one of their own winning MVP honors. This week’s history lesson includes many of the greatest players ever to wear the uniform. So, let’s strap into the CHGO time machine for our weekly journey through the decades.

Feb. 2

1910 – Alex Levinsky was born in Syracuse, NY. The defenseman was acquired from the New York Rangers for cash on Jan. 16, 1935. He had eight goals and 32 points in 197 games with Chicago. The Blackhawks celebrated the fourth anniversary of acquiring Levinsky by trading him back to the Rangers for Joe Cooper on Jan. 16, 1939.

1962 – Dave Donnelly was born in Edmonton, AB. He signed with the Blackhawks before the 1986-87 season. The center played 71 games and scored six goals and 18 points before he was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers for cash the following offseason.

1983 – Jordin Tootoo was born in Churchill, MB. The right wing spent his 13th and final NHL season with the Blackhawks after signing with the team in the summer of 2016. He had two goals and three points in 50 games and appeared in two postseason contests.

2002 – Eric Daze was named the Most Valuable Player of the NHL All-Star Game after scoring two goals and adding an assist. Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux scored his 13th All-Star Game goal to tie Wayne Gretzky for the most in league history. However, Daze and Lemieux’s performances were not enough as Team World beat Team North America 8-5.

2012 – Sam Gagner was a one-person wrecking crew leading the Oilers to an 8-4 win over the Blackhawks. He factored in all eight Edmonton goals, scoring four and picking up assists on the other four. He was the first player to have an eight-point game in the NHL since Lemieux on Dec. 31, 1988. He also tied the franchise record for most points in a single game, which Gretzky and Paul Coffey shared.

2013 – Ray Emery stood on his head to keep the Blackhawks’ unbeaten streak alive to start the 2012-13 season. The Blackhawks entered their contest against the Calgary Flames with a 6-0-2 record. Jay Bouwmeester scored to give the Flames a 2-1 lead with 35 seconds go to before Marian Hossa tied the game with under three seconds remaining. Patrick Kane scored in the shooting to give Chicago the win. Emery was the story with 45 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping all three Calgary shootout attempts. The Blackhawks didn’t lose in regulation until March 8, their 25th game of the season.

Feb. 3

1967 – Tony Horacek was born in Vancouver, BC. The left wing was traded to Chicago by the Philadelphia Flyers for Ryan McGill on Feb. 7, 1992. He appeared in 38 games over three seasons for the Blackhawks, scoring one goal and six points.

1968 – Frantisek Kucera was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The Blackhawks took the blueliner in the fourth round (77th overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. He had 14 goals and 63 points in 232 games before he was traded to the Harford Whalers with Jocelyn Lemieux for Gary Suter and Randy Cunneyworth on March 11, 1994.

1970 – Keith Carney was born in Providence, RI. He was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres for Craig Muni on Oct. 26, 1993. The defenseman became a fixture in the Blackhawks’ lineup for the next five seasons, scoring 14 goals and 61 points while being a plus-64 in 271 games. On March 4, 1998, he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes with Jim Cummins for Chad Kilger and Jay More.

1973 – Jim Campbell was born in Worcester, MA. The right wing signed with the Blackhawks on Nov. 19, 2001. He appeared in nine games during the 2001-02 season and scored one goal and two points.

1982 – General manager Bob Pulford took over head coaching duties after firing Keith Magnuson. In the first game of his second stint behind the Blackhawks bench, he led the team to a 9-5 win against the St. Louis Blues.

2000 – Pulford became the first person in NHL history to coach 800 NHL games after playing 800 games. This milestone came during his fourth stint as head coach of the Blackhawks in a 5-5 tie with the Calgary Flames.

Feb. 4

1920 – Adam Brown was born in Johnstone, England. The Detroit Red Wings traded the left wing and Ray Powell to the Blackhawks for Pete Horeck and Leo Reise on Dec. 9, 1946. He had 38 goals and 99 points in 210 games before he was traded to the Boston Bruins for cash on Aug. 10, 1951. While in Detroit, Brown had an assist on Gordie Howe’s first NHL goal.

1961 – Denis Savard was born in Pointe Gatineau, QC. He began his long relationship with the Blackhawks when they selected him third overall at the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. He became an instant start in his first season with 28 goals and 75 points as a 19-year-old. Savard perfected the “Spin-o-Rama” play as he led the Blackhawks to four Conference Finals but could not get his team over the hump. In his first stint with the team, he had 311 goals and 1,013 points in 736 games.

On June 29, 1990, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Chris Chelios. This deal worked out well for both players, as Chelios became the Blackhawks’ top defenseman, and Savard won a Stanley Cup for the team he grew up cheering for. Savard returned to Chicago when the Tampa Bay Lightning traded him for a sixth-round pick on April 6, 1995. He had 26 goals and 83 points in 145 games before retiring. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000 and was named one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017. Savard even spent parts of three seasons behind the Blackhawks’ bench and was the first head coach in the careers of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

1961 – Denis Cyr was born in Verdun, QC. He formed the “Les Trois Denis” line with Savard and Denis Tremblay while playing for the Montreal Juniors of the QMJHL. The Blackhawks acquired the former first-round pick from the Flames for Carey Wilson on Nov. 8, 1982. He had 19 goals and 40 points in 87 games before signing with the Blues. His post-playing career included leading the Peoria Riverman to the IHL’s Turner Cup in 1991 as general manager. Cyr still lives in Peoria and was elected to the city council in 2017.

1996 – Brent Sutter scored his 350th career goal, and Suter recorded his 500th NHL assist in a 4-1 road win at the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Feb. 5

1948 – Roy Conacher scored three goals for his first hat trick with the Blackhawks in a 7-2 win at the Canadiens. Doug Bentley chipped in with a goal and three assists.

1966 – Stan Mikita was cut on the head from a Kent Douglas slash during a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He returned for the rematch at the Chicago Stadium the following night wearing a helmet for the first time in his career. The new equipment didn’t hinder his game, as he scored twice in a 3-2 victory.

1967 – Bobby Hull became the first player in team history to score 350 career goals. He also added an assist in a 5-0 win over the Bruins. Goaltender Denis DeJordy earned his fifth career shutout, extending the team’s unbeaten streak to 11 games (9-0-2).

1982 – Tomas Kopecky was born in Ilava, Czechoslovakia. He signed with the Blackhawks along with Hossa on July 1, 2009. He had 25 goals and 63 points in 125 games during his two seasons in Chicago and was part of the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship. Kopecky was traded to the Florida Panthers for a seventh-round pick on June 27, 2011.

1995 – Bernie Nicholls scored four goals on four shots for his 16th career hat trick and his first with the Blackhawks. He also assisted on two other goals in a 9-4 road win at the Vancouver Canucks.

1999 – Mike Hardman was born in Hanover, MA. He signed as an undrafted college free agent on March 30, 2021. He has a goal and five points in 29 NHL games and currently plays for the Rockford IceHogs.

Feb. 6

1967 – Mike Hudson was born in Guelph, ON. The Blackhawks selected the forward in the seventh round (140th overall) of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft. He played 257 games over five seasons and scored 38 goals and 96 points. On March 23, 1993, Hudson was traded to the Oilers for Muni.

1971 – Hull scored three goals in the Blackhawks’ 6-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars. This gave him 26 hat tricks in his career, tying him with Canadiens’ icon Maurice Richard for the most in NHL history. Dennis Hull, Bobby’s brother, had two goals and an assist in the win.

1981 – Andy Hilbert was born in Lansing, MI. The Blackhawks gave a fifth-round pick to the Bruins to acquire the forward on Nov. 6, 2005. He had five goals and nine points in 29 games before he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 9, 2006.

1990 – Brett Hull scored a goal in the Blues’ 6-4 victory versus the Maple Leafs. This gave him 50 goals on the season, making the Hulls the first father-son combination in NHL history to have 50-goal seasons. Bobby, who was in attendance this night, had five 50-goal seasons in his career. The 1989-90 season was Brett’s first six straight seasons of at least 54 goals.

Feb. 7

1958 – Tim Higgins was born in Ottawa, ON. He was the 10th overall pick of the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft by the Blackhawks. He played the first 358 games of his NHL career in Chicago, scoring 79 goals and 185 points. Higgins was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Jeff Larmer on Jan. 11, 1984.

1968 – Peter Bondra was born in Luck, USSR. Long before Alex Ovechkin, Bondra was the Russian superstar for the Washington Capitals, rewriting their record books. After 472 goals in 961 games for the Capitals and two quick stops with the Ottawa Senator and Atlanta Thrashers, Bondra signed with the Blackhawks on Dec. 10, 2006. He played the final 37 games of his NHL career in Chicago and scored five goals and 14 points.

1971 – Bobby Hull made more history just 24 hours after scoring his 26th career hat trick versus the North Stars. The following night, the Golden Jet scored his 544th career goal, tying Richard for second place on the all-time goals list behind Howe. Goaltender Tony Esposito made 28 saves for his 22nd career shutout in a 1-0 win over the visiting Penguins.

1991 – Richard Panik was born in Martin, Czechoslovakia. He was acquired from the Maple Leafs for Jeremy Morin on Jan. 3, 2016. He had 35 goals and 68 points in 149 games for the Blackhawks before he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes with Laurent Dauphin for Anthony Duclair and Adam Clendening on Jan. 10, 2018.

1995 – Ed Belfour recorded his 25th career shutout and the third in six games versus the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Jeremy Roenick led the scoring with two goals in a 3-0 road win.

Feb. 8

1942 – Bill Mosienko made his NHL debut and scored two goals in 21 seconds during the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the Rangers. Over a decade later, he set an NHL record by scoring three goals in 21 seconds.

1981 – Tom Lysiak scored on the power play for his 200th NHL goal. He also added four assists in the Blackhawks’ 9-1 win against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

1990 – Dirk Graham scored the only hat trick of his career and added an assist to reach 300 career points as the Blackhawks earned an 8-6 road win in Detroit.

1992 – Steve Larmer tied Craig Ramsay’s NHL record for most consecutive games played with one team. His 776th straight game with the Blackhawks was a 3-1 victory at the Blues.

1996 – Tony Amonte scored two goals and three assists for a career-high five points in a 6-1 win in St. Louis. Roenick chipped in with two goals and two assists.

Photo courtesy of NHL.com

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