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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Goodbye Red Wings & more

Greg Boysen Avatar
May 26, 2023

The upcoming week in Chicago Blackhawks history is a memorable one! There was plenty of Stanley Cup Final action, some good and some bad. In addition to numerous birthdays, this week will celebrate one of the greatest playoff wins in franchise history.

May 26

1925 – Defenseman Ralph Nattrass was born in Gainsboro, SK. He scored 18 goals and 56 points in 223 career games with the Blackhawks between 1945 and 1950.

1930 – Lorne Ferguson was born in Palmerston, ON. The Blackhawks acquired the winger in an eight-player trade with the Detroit Red Wings in 1957. He had 13 goals and 32 points in 104 games in Chicago before he was part of a 10-player trade with the Montreal Canadiens in 1960.

1966 – Goaltender Chris Clifford was born in Kingston, ON. He was a sixth-round draft pick (111th overall) of the Blackhawks at the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He made only two relief appearances in his NHL career, stopping all eight shots he faced in 24 minutes.

1966 – Bobby Hull was awarded the Hart Trophy for being the NHL’s most valuable player. He scored 54 goals and 97 points in 65 games for his second straight Hart Trophy win.

1987 – The Blackhawks named Bob Murdoch the 27th head coach in franchise history. The 1987-88 season was the only one Murdoch spent behind the bench at the old Chicago Stadium. He went 30-41-9 and was replaced by Mike Keenan in the offseason.

1992 – The Blackhawks opened the Stanley Cup Final at the Pittsburgh Penguins. They came into the series with an NHL record 11-game playoff winning streak and appeared to be well on their way to their 12th straight victory with a 4-1 lead midway through the second period. Rick Tocchet and Mario Lemieux started the comeback by lighting the lamp to cut the lead down to 4-3 before the second intermission. Jaromir Jagr evened up the score with under five minutes to play before Lemieux struck again with just 13 seconds left on the clock to secure a 5-4 victory.

2014 – The Los Angeles Kings took a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 5-2 win over the Blackhawks. A three-goal outburst over seven minutes of the first period was all the home team needed. Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell scored after the Blackhawks fell behind 4-0, but they could not get any closer.

May 27

1909 – Ed Vokes was born in Quill Lake, SK. The forward had no points in his five career NHL games for the Blackhawks during the 1930-31 season.

1927 – Right wing Ike Hildebrand was in Winnipeg, MB. The Blackhawks acquired him in 1954 in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks of the Western Hockey League. He had a goal and an assist in nine games before he was moved to the Canadians.

1940 – Ed Van Impe was born in Saskatoon, SK. The defenseman spent his rookie season of 1966-67 with the Blackhawks, scoring eight goals and 19 points in 61 games. He was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft and was part of their back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 1974 and 1975.

1977 – The Canucks traded goaltender goalie Murray Bannerman to the Blackhawks to complete a trade from the previous November that sent Jim Pappin to Vancouver. Bannerman went on to win 107 games in six seasons with the Blackhawks and became the subject of Pat Foley’s signature call.

1990 – Marcus Kruger was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He played 472 games in two stints with the Blackhawks, scoring 37 goals and 117 points. The defensive-minded center was part of the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championships.

1995 – A sweep of the Canucks was completed with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Chris Chelios became the first defenseman in playoff history to score in overtime in two consecutive games when he found the back of the net 5:35 into extra time to end the series.

2009 – The Blackhawks’ postseason run came to an end 3:58 into overtime of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals when Darren Helm’s goal gave the Red Wings a 2-1 win. Patrick Kane scored the lone goal, the final one of the 2008-09 season.

2013 – After losing Games 3 and 4 in Detroit, the Blackhawks forced a seventh and final game in the Western Conference Semifinals by beating the Red Wings 4-3 in Game 6. Marian Hossa quieted the Motor City crowd with an early power-play strike. The Red Wings eventually built a 2-1 lead that they took into the third period. Michal Handzus tied the game in the opening minute of the final frame. Five minutes later, Bickell gave the Blackhawks a lead with his fifth postseason goal. Michal Frolik converted a penalty shot moments later, which proved to be the game-winner. Damien Brunner scored in the final minute for the Red Wings, but it was too late as the series was heading back to Chicago for a Game 7.

2015 – The Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals to keep their playoff run alive. Saad, Hossa, and Patrick Kane all struck in the first period to build a 3-0 lead just 12 minutes into the game. The Ducks crawled back into it and cut the lead to 3-2 early in the third period. Andrew Shaw added two late insurance goals, including an empty-netter in the final minute, to take the series back to the west coast for a seventh and deciding game.

May 28

1900 – Defenseman Clarence Abel was born in Sault Ste Marie, MI. He was traded to the Blackhawks by the New York Rangers following the 1928-29 season for cash. He played 222 games in Chicago, putting up nine goals and 21 points, ending his career with a Stanley Cup win in 1934.

1955 – Doug Hicks was born in Cold Lake, AB. The blueliner was selected sixth overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. He was traded to Chicago in 1978 for Pierre Plante and Eddie Mio. After two goals and 17 points in 57 games, he was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1979 NHL Expansion Draft.

1973 – Todd Simpson was born in North Vancouver, BC. The Blackhawks signed the defenseman as a free agent in 2005. After three assists in 45 games, he was traded to the Canadians for a sixth-round draft pick.

1992 – Lemieux continued his monstrous postseason in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins’ superstar scored a pair of goals in a 3-1 win over the Blackhawks. These goals were his 15th and 16th of the 1992 postseason and gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the series.  

2014 – The Kings had no answer for Kane, who had four assists, including one on Handzus’ double-overtime goal, in a 5-4 victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Kane became the first player since Henrik Sedin in 2011 to have four assists in a Conference Final game.

May 29

1914 – Center Bill Carse was born in Edmonton, AB. The Rangers traded him to the Blackhawks in 1939 for cash. He spent the next three seasons in Chicago, scoring 27 goals and 66 points in 123 games.

1931 – Bob Bailey was born in Kenora, ON. He was claimed from the Red Wings in the 1957 Intra-League Draft. He was traded back to Detroit as part of an eight-player deal in December of that year after three goals and nine points in 28 games.

1965 – Brian Noonan was born in Boston, MA. The Blackhawks selected the right wing in the ninth round (179th overall) of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He had 63 goals and 148 points in 329 games for the Blackhawks before he was traded to the Rangers with Stephane Matteau in 1994 for Tony Amonte.

2010 – The Blackhawks played their first Stanley Cup Final game since 1992, and they beat the Flyers 6-5 in a crazy opening contest. After an early goal by Ville Leino, the Blackhawks answered back with a Troy Brouwer tally and a shortie by Dave Bolland. However, Scott Hartnell and Daniel Briere lit the lamp to give the visitors a 3-2 lead after one. Brower scored again in the middle frame as the Blackhawks also got goals from Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg but headed into the third period tied 5-5. Tomas Kopecky was the unlikely hero by scoring the game-winning goal midway through the final frame. Antti Niemi made 27 saves in the win.

2013 – Defenseman Brent Seabrook scored one of the most important goals in Blackhawks’ history. His overtime tally gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 win over the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Niklas Hjalmarsson thought he put the Blackhawks ahead late in regulation, but the goal was waved off because of a penalty behind the play. Seabrook struck at the 3:25 mark of overtime to make the Blackhawks the 25th team in NHL history to win a seven-game playoff series after falling behind 3-1.

May 30

1902 – Eddie McCalmon was born in Varney, ON. The forward played 23 games for the Blackhawks during the 1927-28 season, scoring two goals.

1906 – Left wing Vic Ripley was born in Elgin, ON. He scored 41 goals and 65 points in his first 174 NHL games with the Blackhawks. He was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1933 for Hall of Fame forward Billy Burch.

1940 – Gilles Villemure was born in Trois-Rivieres, QC. The Blackhawks acquired the former Vezina Trophy winner from the Rangers in 1975 for defenseman Doug Jarrett. He had two wins in his 21 games in Chicago.

1992 – Tom Barrasso earned his second career playoff shutout to lead the Penguins to a 1-0 win at the Chicago Stadium in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. This was the Penguins’ 10th straight playoff win. Kevin Stevens scored the game’s only goal late in the first period to give the Penguins a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.

2014 – The Blackhawks avoided elimination by defeating the Kings 4-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Kane and Ben Smith had early second-period goals giving Chicago a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. The Staples Center was in a frenzy after Los Angeles scored two quick goals early in the final frame. Duncan Keith tied the game at 11:34 before Kane’s second tally of the night, with less than for minutes left in regulation, forced the series back to the Windy City for one last game.

2015 – For the third time in six seasons, the Blackhawks punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final after a 5-3 win at the Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Chicago cruised to a 4-0 lead after Jonathan Toews scored twice in the opening frame, followed by second-period strikes from Saad and Hossa. Anaheim cut the lead to 4-2 midway through the third period before Seabrook responded with a late power-play goal. Goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 35 shots to lead the Blackhawks to another championship series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

May 31

1909 – Hall of Fame defenseman Art Coulter was born in Winnipeg, MB. He scored 13 goals and 27 points in 170 games for the Blackhawks before being traded to the Rangers in 1936 for fellow Hall of Fame blueliner Earl Seibert. He won two Stanley Cups in his career, in 1934 with the Blackhawks and another with New York in 1940.

2010 – The Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead over the Flyers with a 2-1 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Hossa and Ben Eager scored 28 seconds apart late in the second period to provide all the scoring. Simone Gagne scored a power-play goal early in the third period, but Niemi’s 32 saves were enough to hold on for the victory.

June 1

1928 – Larry Zeidel was born in Montreal, QC. The Blackhawks acquired the defenseman from the Red Wings for cash in 1953. He was traded back to Detroit for more cash in 1954 after a goal and seven points in 64 games.

1961 – Paul Coffey was born in Weston, ON. The Hall of Fame defenseman was acquired by the Blackhawks in 1998 from the Flyers for a fifth-round draft pick. He was moved to the Carolina Hurricanes for Nelson Emerson after just 10 games in a Blackhawks uniform.

1968 – Netminder Jeff Hackett was born in London, ON. The Blackhawks traded a third-round draft pick to the San Jose Sharks in 1993. After 173 games over six seasons in Chicago, he was traded to the Canadiens in 1998 with a fourth-round pick, Alain Nasreddine, and Eric Weinrich for Brad Brown, Dave Manson, and Jocelyn Thibault.

1975 – Winger Michal Grosek was born in Vyskov, Czechoslovakia. He was traded to the Blackhawks in 2000 by the Sabres for J.P. Dumont and Doug Gilmour. He was moved to the Rangers for unknown compensation just before the 2000-01 season after two goals and six points in 14 games for the Blackhawks.

1992 – The Penguins defeated the Blackhawks 6-5 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to win their second straight championship. This was Pittsburgh’s 11th straight of the postseason, tying a record the Blackhawks had set heading into the series. The Penguins held three separate one-goal leads in the first period thanks to goals by Jagr, Stevens, and Lemieux, but all three of those goals were answered by Dirk Graham’s hat trick.

Tocchet and Jeremey Roenick added goals in the second period. Larry Murphy and Ron Francis gave the Penguins a two-goal advantage early in the final frame. Roenick lit the lamp a second time with just under nine minutes left to play, but the Blackhawks could not score the equalizer.

Lemieux, who added two assists to go along with his goal, won his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the postseason. During the championship run, he had 16 goals and 34 points in 15 games.

1995 – 2014 sixth-round (178th overall) draft pick Dylan Sikura was born in Aurora, ON. He played in 47 games for the Blackhawks, scoring one goal and 14 points. He was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights just before the 2020-21 season for Brandon Pirri.

1995 – The Blackhawks lost 2-1 in overtime at the Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Joe Murphy gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal in the first period. Keith Primeau evened the score in the middle frame before Nicklas Lidstrom scored a minute into the extra period. This was the Red Wings’ first overtime playoff win at home since 1960, ending a 10-game losing streak.

2013 – The Blackhawks hosted the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and used some second-period heroics to earn a 2-1 win. Sharp and Hossa scored four minutes apart in the sandwich stanza to provide the office. Crawford settled in after allowing a first-period goal and made 21 saves to secure the 1-0 series advantage.

2014 – The Kings ended the Blackhawks’ reign as Stanley Cup champions with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Alec Martinez sent the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final when his shot hit off the kneepad of defenseman Nick Leddy and got in behind Crawford. Justin “Mr. Game 7” Williams scored the seventh Game 7 goal of his career, tying him with Glenn Anderson for the most in league history.

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