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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Playoff losses & trading away a superstar

Greg Boysen Avatar
August 11, 2022

This was not the greatest week in Chicago Blackhawks franchise history. Not only did they suffer a trio of playoff losses in 2020, but they also traded way an all-time great in his prime back in 1996. A current member of the team and a beloved player and broadcaster are among those who will be celebrating birthdays this upcoming week. Let’s fire up that CHGO time machine and take our weekly journey back through the decades.

August 11

1965 – Marc Bergevin was born in Montreal, QC. The Blackhawks drafted the defenseman in the third round (59th overall) of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He played the first 266 games of his long NHL career with Chicago. In 1988, he was traded with Gary Nylund to the New York Islanders for Bob Bassen and Steve Konroyd. He retired after 20 seasons in 2004. He played 1,191 games with the Blackhawks, Islanders, Hartford Whalers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vancouver Canucks. He scored 36 goals and 181 points while racking up 1,090 penalty minutes.

When his playing days ended, Bergevin headed to the front office. He returned to the Blackhawks as a scout in 2005. He served as an assistant coach in 2008 before being appointed as the team’s director of player personnel the following year. In 2011, he was promoted to assistant general manager, a job he held for less than a year. The Montreal Canadiens named him general manager in May of 2012, and he held that position until Nov. 28, 2021. In January, he was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as an advisor to the general manager.

1965 – Jari Torkki was born in Rauma, Finland. The left wing was a sixth-round pick (115th overall) of the Blackhawks in 1983. He scored one goal in four games during the 1988-89 season, his only appearance in the NHL. After two seasons in the IHL, he returned to Europe, where he played professionally until 2002.

1983 – Martin St. Pierre was born in Ottawa, ON. The undrafted free agent played 21 games for the Blackhawks between 2005 and 2008, scoring one goal and four points. He played three seasons in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals and Rockford IceHogs, where he had 71 goals and 260 points in 215 games. He was traded to the Boston Bruins for Pascal Pelletier in 2008. St. Pierre returned to Rockford in 2012 and played two more seasons for the IceHogs.

2007 – The Blackhawks traded Radim Vrbata to the Phoenix Coyotes for Kevyn Adams. Vrbata had 27 goals and 75 points in his two seasons in Chicago. This was his first of three stints with the Coyotes. Adams, now the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, had two assists in 27 games for the Blackhawks, the final contests of his 10-season career.

2020 – The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Blackhawks 4-1 in Game 1 of their First Round playoff series. After a scoreless first period in the Edmonton bubble, Shea Theodore and William Carrier struck less than two minutes apart in the middle frame. David Kampf’s shorthanded goal cut the deficit to one before the second intermission, but that was the only puck that got in behind Robin Lehner. Reilly Smith scored a pair of third-period goals to ice the game for the heavily favored Golden Knights.

August 12

1912 – Walt Farrant was born in Toronto, ON. The right wing’s only NHL game came with the Blackhawks during the 1943-44 season.

1947 – Moe L’Abbe was born in Montreal, QC. The Blackhawks selected the forward in the fourth round (22nd overall) of the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft. He had one assist in five career NHL games, all coming in the 1972-73 season.

1985 – Ryan Garbutt was born in Edmonton, AB. The Blackhawks acquired him with Trevor Daley from the Dallas Stars on July 12, 2015, for Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns. His time in Chicago was short as he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 21, 2016, for Jiri Sekac. He had two goals and six points in his 43 games for the Blackhawks.

1986 – Rob Klinkhammer was born in Lethbridge, AB. The left wing played one game for the Blackhawks during the 2010-11 season. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 2, 2011, for a seventh-round draft pick that was later traded to the Calgary Flames. Last week he was named as an assistant coach for the IceHogs, for whom he played 242 games and scored 44 goals and 109 points. 

August 13

1975 – Goaltender Marty Turco was born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. After nine seasons with the Stars, he signed with the Blackhawks in 2010. He spent 2010-11 as Corey Crawford’s backup. He appeared in 29 games and went 11-11-3 with a .897 save percentage (SV%) and 3.02 goals-against average (GAA).

1994 – Jujhar Khaira was born in Surrey, BC. He became the third player of Punjabi Indian descent to play in the NHL when he made his NHL debut for the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 28, 2015, joining Robin Bawa and Manny Malhotra. The rugged left wing signed with the Blackhawks in 2021. He was limited to just 27 games. Khaira missed nearly a month after a vicious headshot by New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Trouba, which caused him to be carried off the ice on a stretcher. He returned from this scary incident only to suffer a season-ending back injury. He will return for the 2022-23 season.

2020 – Golden Knights took a 2-0 series lead by beating the Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime. Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik scored in the second period to erase a 2-0 Vegas lead. Mark Stone gave the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead but was quickly answered by Dylan Strome. Smith followed up his two-goal performance in Game 1 by lighting the lamp seven minutes into the extra time.

August 14

1949 – Dick Redmond was born in Kirkland Lake, ON. The defenseman was selected fifth overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1969. He was acquired by the Blackhawks in 1972 from the California Golden Seals with Bobby Sheehan for blueliner Darryl Maggs. He skated in 341 games, scoring 71 goals and 227 points. Following the 1976-77 season, Redmond was traded to the Blues for Pierre Plante.

1978 – Brett McLean was born in Comox, BC. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent center in 2002. He had 11 goals and 31 points in 78 games over the two seasons before signing with the Colorado Avalanche in 2004.

August 15

1931 – Norm Corcoran was born in Toronto, ON. He was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in 1956 for cash and the loan of Gord Pennell. He had a goal in four points in 23 games. From there, he bounced around the minor leagues until retiring in 1966.

1949 – Ivan Boldirev was born in Zranjanin, Yugoslavia. Originally a first-round pick of the Bruins in 1969, the Blackhawks acquired the center in 1974 from the Golden Seals for Mike Christie and Len Frig. He had 140 goals and 335 points in 384 games. In 1979, Boldirev was part of a big trade with the Atlanta Flames with Darcy Rota and Phil Russell for Greg Fox, Tom Lysiak, Harold Phillipoff, Pat Ribble, and Miles Zaharko. After stops in Vancouver and Detroit, he retired in 1985, playing 1,052 career games over 15 seasons.

1967 – Defenseman Neil Wilkinson was born in Selkirk, MB. He was traded to the Blackhawks in 1993 by the San Jose Sharks for Jimmy Waite, the current goaltending coach in Chicago. He had three goals and 12 points in 72 games. The following offseason, he was shipped to the Winnipeg Jets for a third-round draft pick. The Jets traded him in 1995 for Norm Maciver, who is now an assistant general manager for the Blackhawks.

1969 – James Black was born in Regina, SK. The left wing signed with the Blackhawks in 1995. He scored 25 goals and 44 points in 129 games in three seasons. In 1998, he was traded to the Washington Capitals for a ninth-round draft pick, which was eventually traded back to the Caps.

1975 – Brendan Morrison was born in Pitt Meadows, BC. The veteran center was acquired during the 2011-12 season from the Calgary Flames for Brian Connelly. He had no points in 11 regular-season games but scored a goal in three playoff contests versus the Coyotes.

2000 – Adam Boqvist was born in Falun, Sweden. The Blackhawks used the eighth overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft to select the defenseman. After six goals and 29 points in 76 games, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021 in the deal that brought Seth Jones to Chicago. He had 11 goals and 22 points in his first season with the Blue Jackets.

2002 – Blackhawks signed free agent Theo Fleury to a two-year, $8.5 million contract after the Rangers declined to pick up his contract option. He was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse program and did not make his debut with the team until December. Fleury only played in 54 games, scoring 12 goals and 33 points. He was suspended a second time during the season for an off-ice incident. After the season, he was suspended for another substance abuse program violation and never played in the league again.

2020 – The Golden Knights took a 3-0 series stranglehold by beating the Blackhawks 2-1 in Edmonton. Vegas took a 2-0 lead into the final frame after a shorthanded goal by William Karlsson in the first period and a Patrick Brown tally in the second. Defenseman Olli Maatta’s third postseason goal drew the Blackhawks to within one with over 13 minutes to play, but they could not get the equalizer. Crawford made 24 saves in the losing effort, while future Blackhawk Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced.

August 16

1966 – Eddie Olczyk was born in Chicago, IL. The Blackhawks used the third overall pick of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft to select the center. He had 65 goals and 233 points over his first three NHL seasons. In 1987, he was traded with Al Secord to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Bob McGill, Steve Thomas, and Rick Vaive. After initial stops with the Jets, Rangers, Kings, and Penguins, he returned to Chicago in 1998. Olczyk scored 12 goals and 29 points over the final 94 games of his 16-season NHL career.

After he retired, Olczyk began his broadcasting career in Pittsburgh. He moved from the booth down behind the bench and became the Penguins’ head coach in 2003. He was fired midway through the 2005-06 season and returned to Chicago as the Blackhawks’ color analyst in 2006. He held that job until this past July, when a new contract with the team could not be agreed upon. He will be the new television analyst for the Seattle Kraken this fall, in addition to his national duties with TNT.

1996 – On a sad day for many Blackhawks fans, Jeremy Roenick was traded to the Coyotes in exchange for Alexei Zhamnov, Craig Mills, and a first-round draft pick. Roenick was an elite goal-scorer and fan favorite with the Blackhawks. He had four straight seasons of at least 41 goals, including 53 in 1991-92 and 50 the following season. He was sent out west simply because Bill Wirtz did not want to pay him full market value, a significant problem during this era. While Zhamnov was never the goal-scoring threat Roenick was, he was still an effective player during his time in Chicago. He scored 140 goals and 424 in 528 games over eight seasons. He was traded to the Flyers in 2004, where he briefly was a teammate of Roenick.

2020 – Blackhawks fended off elimination by beating the Golden Knights 3-1 in Game 4 of their First Round series. Drake Caggiula and Matthew Highmore scored in the first period to get things rolling. Theodore’s second goal of the series cut the lead in half late in the opening frame. Alex DeBrincat’s empty-net goal in the final seconds iced the game and let his team live to fight another day. Crawford stood on his head by making 48 saves in his last victory in a Blackhawks uniform.

August 17

1896 – Defenseman Georges Bocher was born in Ottawa, ON. The Hall of Famer was selected off waivers from the Montreal Maroons in 1931. He played the final 43 games of his 15-season NHL career with the Blackhawks, scoring one goal and six points.

1939 – Chico Maki was born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. He played his entire career with the Blackhawks, spanning 841 games over 14 seasons. He made his NHL debut during the 1961 Stanley Cup Playoffs, appearing in one game. The team added his name to the Stanley Cup after they beat the Red Wings. He retired in 1976 with 143 career goals and 436 points.

1967 – Nelson Emerson was born in Hamilton, ON. The Blackhawks acquired the winger from the Carolina Hurricanes in 1998 for veteran defenseman Paul Coffey. He scored four goals and 14 points in 27 games before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators for Chris Murray.

1985 – Troy Brouwer was born in Vancouver, BC. The Blackhawks drafted him in the seventh round (214th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut during the 2005-07 season. He was a major contributor to the 2010 Stanley Cup championship team, scoring 22 goals in the regular season and another four in the playoffs. He was traded to the Capitals at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft for their first-round pick (26th overall), which was used to take Phillip Danault. Brouwer officially retired in November of 2021 after 182 goals and 363 points in 851 games with the Blackhawks, Capitals, Blues, Flames, and Florida Panthers.

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