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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Hall of Fame moments with Chris Chelios, Ed Belfour, Phil Esposito & more

Greg Boysen Avatar
January 21, 2023

Some of the most legendary names in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history had huge moments this week. However, we are also reminded of some of the worst trades the team ever made. Let’s strap into the CHGO time machine and take our weekly trip back to relive the great and not-so-great memories.

Jan. 19

1902 – Art Somers was born in Winnipeg, MB. The center played his first two NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, scoring 14 goals and 33 points in 77 games. On Sept. 27, 1931, he was traded to the New York Rangers with Vic Desjardins for Paul Thompson.

1966 – Sylvain Cote was born in Quebec City, QC. The defenseman was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second-round draft pick on Oct. 8, 1999. That pick was used to take Karel Pilar, who played 90 games for Toronto. Cote had six goals and 24 points in 45 games before he was traded to the Dallas Stars with Dave Manson for Kevin Dean, Derek Plante, and a second-round pick on Feb. 8, 2000. That pick turned into right wing Matt Keith, who played 24 games before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks for P.A. Parenteau.

1986 – Denis Savard scored twice to give him 200 career goals. He also added an assist as the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-4.

1991 – The Chicago Stadium and the Blackhawks hosted the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, giving us a national anthem for the history books. A couple of days after the United States invaded Iraq as part of Operation Desert Storm, Wayne Messmer’s version of the “Star-Spangled Banner” took on a new feeling. The walls of the old barn shook as the fans cheered along.

Once the puck dropped, Vincent Damphousse of the Maple Leafs took over. He scored four goals, matching an All-Star Game record. He was the Most Valuable Player in the Campbell Conference’s 11-5 win over the Wales Conference. Wayne Gretzky scored his 11th career All-Star Game goal, passing Howe for the most all-time.

2013 – After an owner’s lockout nearly cost us hockey for the year, the shortened 2012-13 season finally began. The Blackhawks started the memorable season by watching the Los Angeles Kings raise their Stanley Cup banner. The night of celebration turned into a nightmare as the Blackhawks dominated from the opening draw. Marian Hossa scored two goals in a 5-2 victory, with Patrick Kane, Michael Frolik, and Jonathan Toews all finding the back of the net, as well. The Blackhawks didn’t lose in regulation until the 25th game of the season on March 8.

2020 – The Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 at the United Center. Kane became the 10th U.S.-born player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points when he picked up the secondary assist on Brandon Saad’s third-period goal.

Jan. 20

1946 – A record crowd of 19,749 packed the Chicago Stadium as the Blackhawks hosted the Rangers. Max Bentley’s fourth career hat trick sent the fans home happy in a 9-1 blowout of the visitors from the Big Apple.

1995 – The NHL’s 48-game regular season finally got underway after an extended lockout. The Blackhawks opened their campaign with a 4-1 loss at the Red Wings. Dirk Graham provided all the offense with a power-play goal.  

1970 – Bobby Hull was named the Most Valuable Player of the NHL All-Star Game with a goal and an assist in the Eastern Conference’s 4-1 win. The legendary Gordie Howe scored his record 10th and final All-Star Game goal.

2018 – Kane factored in all the offense during a 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders. His two goals and an assist gave him 800 points in his career, becoming just the fifth player in team history to hit this milestone.

2019 – Toews scored his sixth career hat trick as the Blackhawks beat the Washington Capitals 8-5. His three-goal night made him the 12th player in NHL history to score at least 20 in each of his first 12 seasons. He is the fourth player in team history to do this, along with Kane, Hull, and Stan Mikita. He capped off his huge game with two assists for his third career five-point game.

Jan. 21

1967 – Ulf Dahlen was born in Ostersund, Sweden. He was acquired in a 1997 trade with the San Jose Sharks that we will dive deeper into shortly. He had six goals and 14 points in 30 games for the Blackhawks. After playing the following season in Sweden, Dahlen signed with the Capitals in 1999.

1978 – Andre Zyuzin was born in Ulfa, USSR. The defenseman was drafted second overall by the Sharks in 1996. The Calgary Flames traded him to Chicago with Steve Marr for Adrian Aucoin and a seventh-round pick. Zyuzin played the final 32 games of his NHL career with the Blackhawks, scoring two goals and five points.

1979 – Burke Henry was born in Ste. Rose, MB. The blueliner signed as a free agent on Dec. 11, 2002. He had two goals and eight points in 39 games over two seasons. He signed with the Florida Panthers following the 2003-04 season but never played in the NHL again.

1981 – Tony Esposito won his team-record eighth straight game with a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago’s eight consecutive victories also tied a team record set during the 1971-72 season.

1999 – Jocelyn Thibault made 33 saves to lead the Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the Canadiens in his first game against his former team. The shutout was the 10th in his career.

2001 – Kirby Dach was born in Fort Saskatchewan, AB. The Blackhawks picked him third overall in 2019. He never lived up to his full potential in Chicago due to injuries and a lack of development. The young forward had 19 goals and 59 points in 152 games over three seasons. At the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, Dach was traded to the Canadiens for a first and third-round pick. Kyle Davidson selected Frank Nazar and Gavin Hayes with those picks.

2001 – The Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins made history by playing the first NHL game featuring two European-born head coaches. Ivan Hlinka led his Penguins to a 4-0 win in Chicago over Alpo Suhonen’s Blackhawks. Alexei Kovalev recorded his 250th career assist, and goaltender Garth Snow recorded his 12th career shutout in the victory.

2004 – Jim Dowd and Ricard Park set the NHL record for the fastest two goals by one team in the Minnesota Wild’s 4-2 win over the Blackhawks. Dowd beat Craig Anderson to give the Wild a 3-2 lead at 19:44 of the third period. The Blackhawks pulled Anderson for an extra attacker, which allowed Park to score in the vacated net just three seconds later.

Jan. 22

1962 – Greg Gilbert was born in Mississauga, ON. The three-time Stanley Cup champion was acquired from the New York Islanders for a fifth-round pick on March 7, 1989. The Islanders used the pick to take Steve Young. No, not that Steve Young. Gilbert scored 42 goals and 106 points in 273 games in his five seasons in Chicago before signing with the Rangers in 1993.

1974 – Sami Helenius was born in Jokela, Finland. The defenseman was acquired from the Stars with a seventh-round pick for Lyle Odelein on March 10, 2003. He had one assist in 10 games for the Blackhawks. He returned to play in his native Finland the following year. The draft pick sent over by Dallas was used to select future Stanley Cup winner Troy Brouwer.

1984 – Ben Eager was born in Ottawa, ON. Originally a first-round pick (23rd overall) of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2002, he arrived in Chicago via the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 18, 2007, in a trade for Jim Vandermeer. He had 18 goals, 33 points, and 308 penalty minutes in 144 games. His most significant moment came when he scored the game-winning goal in Game 2 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. Days after raising the Cup, he was traded with Akim Aliu, Dustin Byfuglien, and Brent Sopel to the Atlanta Thrashers for Joey Crabb, Jeremy Morin, Marty Reasoner, and two draft picks (first and second rounds). Those picks were used on Kevin Hayes and Justin Holl, who never played for the Blackhawks.

2004 – Anderson made 30 saves for his first career shutout and win as the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-0. He entered the night with a 0-11-2 record to start his career.

Jan. 23

1962 – Randy Boyd was born in Coniston, ON. The Penguins traded the defenseman to Chicago for Greg Fox on Dec. 6, 1983. He had four assists in 26 games for the Blackhawks before the Islanders claimed him in the Waiver Draft on Oct. 7, 1985.

1972 – Hull had a goal and an assist to lead in a 4-0 win over the Maple Leafs. This extended his team-record 21-game point streak, where he put up 23 goals and 35 points. He held onto this record until 2015 when Kane had at least one point in 26 straight games.

2000 – Cote played in his 1,000th NHL game, a 3-2 Blackhawks loss to the visiting Stars. Michael Nylander and Doug Gilmour gave Chicago a 2-0 lead in the first period before Dallas scored three unanswered goals.

Jan. 24

1905 – Cy Wentworth was born in Grimsby, ON. The defenseman played 216 games in Chicago and scored 17 goals and 41 points. On Oct. 24, 1932, he was traded to the Montreal Maroons for cash.

1925 – Gus Mortson was born in New Liskeard, ON. The Maple Leafs traded the blueliner with Cal Gardner, Ray Hannigan, and Al Rollins to the Blackhawks for Harry Lumley on Sept. 11, 1953. Mortson spent six seasons in Chicago, scoring 25 goals and 105 points in 390 games. On Sept. 3, 1958, he was traded to the Red Wings for cash.

1960 – Glenn Hall tied Georges Vezina’s record for the most consecutive games played by a goaltender when he took the net for the 328th straight contest. He suffered a 3-2 loss to the Canadiens, the team Vezina starred with. He played in 502 consecutive games before this streak ended, a record that will never be broken.

1992 – The Blackhawks acquired right wing Rob Brown from the Hartford Whalers for defenseman Steve Konroyd.

2018 – William Nylander scored on a penalty shot six seconds into overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win at the United Center. He tied Mats Sundin, David Legwand, Alex Ovechkin, and Andreas Athanasiou for the fastest goal in regular-season overtime.

Jan. 25

1894 – Corb Denneny was born in Cornwall, ON. He played the final 18 games of his NHL with the Blackhawks during the 1927-28 season and scored five goals. On Jan. 11, 1928, he was traded with Nick Wasnie to the Saskatoon Sheiks of the Prairie Hockey League for Eddie McCalmon and Earl Miller.

1938 – Autry Erikson was born in Lethbridge, AB. The Blackhawks claimed the defenseman from the Boston Bruins in the 1961 Intra-League Draft. He had one assist in 34 games over two seasons before being part of a big four-team trade involving the Rangers, Red Wings, and Maple Leafs on June 9, 1964.

1962 – Chirs Chelios was born in Chicago, IL. He was traded to his hometown team by the Canadiens for Savard on June 29, 1990, in a swap of two future Hall of Famers. Chelios became an icon in Chicago. In his nine seasons with the Blackhawks, he scored 92 goals and 487 points and racked up 1,495 penalty minutes in 664 games. He won the Norris Trophy for being the NHL’s top defenseman in 1993 and 1996. On March 23, 1999, he was traded to the hated Red Wings for Anders Eriksson and a pair of first-round picks in 1999 and 2001. Those picks were used on Steve McCarthy and Adam Munroe. Chelios went on to play 10 more seasons in Detroit and won two Stanley Cups.

1964 – Speaking of guys involved in terrible trades, Phil Esposito scored his first NHL goal during the Blackhawks’ 5-3 loss at the Red Wings. He beat fellow future Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuck to find the back of the net for the first time. He scored 74 goals with Chicago before he was traded to the Bruins in 1967. He retired with 717 goals, the sixth-most in league history.

1994 – Jeremy Roenick scored his 200th NHL goal and added an assist as the Blackhawks won 5-0 in Detroit. Goaltender Eddie Belfour picked up the 20th shutout of his career in the victory.

1995 – The Blackhawks played their first game at the United Center and beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-1. Joe Murphy scored the first goal in the new building and added an assist. The Blackhawks averaged 20,833 fans during the 1994-95 season, becoming the first team to average at least 20,000 fans during a regular season.

1997 – In another unpopular and bad move, the Blackhawks traded Belfour to the Sharks for Chris Terreri, Dahlen, and Michal Sykora. This was one of many moves in the late 90s where star players were shipped out of town rather than paid fair market value. Belfour went on to play another 552 games at a high level, while the Blackhawks got 124 combined games out of the trio of players acquired for him.

2015 – Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12 in Columbus to break multiple All-Star Game records. The 17 goals by Team Toews were the most scored by one team, and the 29 combined goals were the most in any All-Star Game. Team Toews scored a record seven goals in the second period, as the 11 scored by both teams was the highest-scoring period in the game’s history. The game also set the records for the fastest back-to-back, three and four goals scored. Team Toews was led by John Tavares and his four goals and Jakub Voracek’s six points (three goals, three assists), both tying All-Star game records.

2019 – Due to a foot injury, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche had to withdraw from the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. U.S. Women’s team legend and Blackhawks development coach Kendall Coyne Schofield replaced him in the Fastest Skater competition. She beat Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller but was not nearly fast as Connor McDavid. But, then again, who is?

Photo courtesy of the NHL

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