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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: Stan Mikita, Patrick Kane, Pierre Pilote & more

Greg Boysen Avatar
December 10, 2022

Once again, it is time for our weekly trip in the CHGO time machine as we look back at some of the most significant moments in Chicago Blackhawks’ history. Some of the best players to ever wear the uniform hit personal milestones this week while we celebrate the birthdays of a plethora of Blackhawks greats throughout the years.

Dec. 8

1968 – The Hull brothers had a big night in a 7-4 victory over the Boston Bruins. The elder Hull, Hall of Famer Bobby, scored the 23rd hat trick of his career. His younger brother, Dennis, added a pair of goals.

1983 – Matt Ellison was born in Duncan, BC. The Blackhawks drafted the right wing in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He had three goals and 13 points in 36 games over two seasons. Ellison is best remembered as the man who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Patrick Sharp on Dec. 5, 2005. While Sharp went on to win three Stanley Cups in Chicago, Ellison had one assist in seven total games in Philadelphia.

1991 – A trio of personal milestones were hit in the Blackhawks’ 7-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars, extending their home unbeaten streak over their Norris Division rivals to 14 games (11-0-3). First, Steve Larmer played in his 750th straight game and scored three goals while adding two assists. This was the third consecutive game in which the Blackhawks had a player score a hat trick. Jeremy Roenick chipped in with his 100th career goal and two assists. Also, Brian Bellows of the North Stars scored the 300th goal of his career in the losing offer.

1992 – Mattias Janmark was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He signed with the Blackhawks on Oct. 12, 2020. Janmark had 10 goals and 19 points in 41 games before being traded to the Vegas Golden Knights for a second and third-round draft. Those picks turned into Colton Dach and Samuel Savoie.

Dec. 9

1913 – Phil Besler was born in Melville, SK. The Blackhawks signed him on Sept. 29, 1938. The right wing had a goal and three points in 17 games before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Carley Mason on Jan. 27, 1939.

1925 – Bep Guidolin was born in Thorold, ON. He was acquired from the Red Wings with Jim Conacher and Doug McCaig for George Gee and Bud Poile and Oct. 25, 1948. The left wing had 46 goals and 137 points in 262 games for the Blackhawks. Guidolin moved behind the bench after his playing days, spending two seasons as the head coach for the Bruins, two more with the Kansas City Scouts, and one with the Edmonton Oilers while they were in the World Hockey Association (WHA).

1935 – Bill Hay was born in Lumsden, SK. He won the 1960 Calder Trophy for scoring 18 goals and 55 points in his rookie season. The following season, he helped the Blackhawks in their first Stanley Cup since 1938 while playing on a line with Bobby Hull and Murray Balfour. He spent his entire playing career with the Blackhawks, scoring 113 goals and 386 points in 506 games. Hay was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2015 for his work as the CEO of the Calgary Flames.

1942 – Germain Gagnon was born in Chicoutimi, QC. The Blackhawks acquired the left wing from the New York Islanders for Walt Ledingham on March 7, 1974. He had 19 goals and 68 points in 99 games before being claimed off waivers by the Scouts on Oct. 28, 1975.

1943 – Pit Martin was born in Noranda, QC. On May 15, 1967, he was acquired from the Bruins with Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, and Fred Stanfield. This is still considered the worst trade in Blackhawks’ history. That is not a shot at Martin, who had 243 goals and 627 points in 740 games in Chicago, but Esposito became one the greatest goal scorers in NHL history, and Hodge helped Boston win two Stanley Cups.

1973 – Stan Mikita became just the third player in Blackhawks history to play in 1,000 games. He had two assists in a 5-3 win over the visiting Minnesota North Stars.

1978 – Mikita became the second player in NHL history to record 900 assists as the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-2. At the time, just he and Gordie Howe had reached this plateau.

Dec. 10

1923 – Hec Highton was born in Medicine Hat, AB. The goaltender played 24 games for the Blackhawks during the 1943-44 season. On Sept. 9, 1948, he was traded with Joe Lund to the Detroit Red Wings for Red Almas, Lloyd Doran, Tony Licari, Thain Simon, and Barry Sullivan. Highton never played in the NHL after his time in Chicago.

1981 – Rene Bourque was born in Lac La Biche, AB. The Blackhawks signed the undrafted free agent in 2004. The right wing played 183 games in Chicago and scored 33 goals and 75 points. On July 1, 2008, he was traded to the Calgary Flames for a second-round draft pick that was eventually traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dec. 11

1931 – Pierre Pilote was born in Kenogami, QC. The Hall of Fame defenseman played 821 games for the Blackhawks over 13 seasons. He scored 77 goals and 477 points and finished his career as a plus-182. Pilotte won the Norris Trophy for being voted the league’s best defenseman in three straight years: 1963, 1964, and 1965. He had a streak of 376 consecutive games played at one point. He was captain of the 1961 Stanley Cup team and wore the “C” on his sweater until he was traded to the Maple Leafs for Jim Pappin on May 23, 1968.

1935 – Elmer “Moose” Vasko was born in Duparquet, QC. He played 641 games over 10 seasons with the Blackhawks, many of which were spent paired with Pilote. He scored 32 goals and 185 points while racking up 608 penalty minutes. The North Stars drafted Vasko in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft.

1940 – Dave Richardson was born in St. Boniface, MB. He was acquired from the New York Rangers with Dick Meissner, Mel Pearson, and Tracy Pratt for Ray Cullen and John McKenzie on June 4, 1965. Richardson had no points in three games during the 1965-66 season. Just like Vasko, he was also selected by Minnesota in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft.

1985 – The Blackhawks hosted the Edmonton Oilers for one of the craziest games in NHL history. When the final horn sounded, the teams scored 21 times and had 90 shots on goal as the Oilers survived for a 12-9 victory. The 21 goals were the most scored since the red line was adopted in 1943. They also set an NHL record for the most goals in one period by scoring 12 during the middle frame. Surprisingly, Wayne Gretzky did not score a goal in this wild affair, but he did tie a league record with seven assists. Troy Murray and Ken Yaremchuk each scored a pair of goals for Chicago.

1988 – Larmer played his 510th consecutive game, setting a new Blackhawks franchise record. He broke the previous record held by John Mark during a 5-2 win over the Blues. Larmer never missed a game with the Blackhawks, playing in 884 straight contests.

Dec. 12

1911 – Bill MacKenzie was born in Winnipeg, MB. The defenseman was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens for Marty Burke on Dec. 10, 1937. He finished that season helping the Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup victory in four years. MacKenzie had two goals and five points in 102 games before being traded back to the Canadiens for cash on May 11, 1940.

1911 – Mike Karakas was born in Aurora, MN. The goaltender won the 1936 Calder Trophy for going 21-19-8 with a 1.85 GAA and nine shutouts in his rookie season. He was the backstop for the 1938 Stanley Cup run. He wore a steel-toed boot during the Stanley Cup Final to protect a broken foot. Over eight seasons with the Blackhawks, Karakas went 114-165-52 with a 2.90 GAA and 28 shutouts.

1913 – Clint Smith was born in Assiniboia, SK. The Hall of Fame center signed as a free agent in 1943 after seven seasons with the Rangers. He won his second Lady Byng Trophy following his first season in Chicago, in which he only received two minor penalties. Smith played the final 202 games of his career with the Blackhawks, scoring 81 goals and 202 points. In 483 games with the Rangers and Blackhawks, he amassed only 24 penalty minutes.  

1924 – Doug Jackson was born in Winnipeg, MB. The netminder played six games for the Blackhawks during the 1947-48 season and went 1-4-1 with a 7.00 GAA.

1937 – John McKenzie was born in High River, AB. The right wing began his long professional career with the Blackhawks in 1958. After scoring three goals and seven points in 32 games, he was claimed by the Red Wings in the 1959 Intra-League Draft. He was traded back to Chicago with Len Lunde for Doug Barkley on June 5, 1962. McKenzie’s second stint lasted 96 games, scoring 17 goals and 36 points. On June 4, 1965, he was traded with Ray Cullen to the Rangers for Dick Meissner, Mel Pearson, Tracy Pratt, and Dave Richardson. His career spanned 19 seasons and 1,169 games between the NHL and WHA.

1971 – Bobby Hull became the fifth player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points in the Blackhawks’ 5-3 win over the North Stars. He joined the 1,000-point club with an assist in his 909th career game.

1985 – Andrew Ladd was born in Maple Ridge, BC. He was the fourth overall pick of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. He was traded to Chicago for Tuomo Ruutu on Feb. 26, 2008. He had 37 goals and 99 points in 184 games and was part of the 2010 Stanley Cup championship. Just days after the victory parade, Ladd was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second-round pick that used to take Adam Clendening. He returned to the Blackhawks on Feb 25, 2016, with Matt Fraser and Jay Harrison for a first-round pick and Marko Dano going to the Winnipeg Jets. He had eight goals and 12 points in 19 games before signing with the Islanders.

1992 – Ed Belfour recorded his 12th career shutout to lead the Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the North Stars.

1999 – Mike Smith was named the Blackhawks’ new Manager of Hockey Operations. He laid the foundation for the Stanley Cup run of the 2010s by drafting Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Dustin Byfuglien, and Corey Crawford.

Dec. 13

1905 – Moe Roberts was born in Waterbury, CT. On Nov. 25, 1951, while serving as assistant trainer, Roberts played one period in goal after Harry Lumley went down to injury. He is still the oldest goaltender to play in an NHL game.

1908 – Rudy Ahlin was born in Eveleth, MN. He played one game for the Blackhawks during the 1937-38 season.

1933 – Doug Mohns was born in Capreol, ON. The Bruins traded him to the Blackhawks for Reggie Fleming and Ab McDonald on June 8, 1964. Mohns had 116 goals and 279 points in 415 games before he was traded to the North Stars with Terry Caffery for Danny O’Shea on Feb. 22, 1971.

2015 – Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 26 consecutive games with an assist in the Blackhawks’ 4-0 win versus the Vancouver Canucks. This is the longest point streak by a U.S.-born player in NHL history. It was also the longest such streak since Mats Sundin had points in 30 straight games for the Quebec Nordiques during the 1992-93 season.

Dec. 14

1914 – Joe Cooper was born in Winnipeg, MB. The defenseman was acquired from the Rangers for cash and Alex Levinsky. He had 25 goals and 54 points in 266 games before he was traded back to New York for cash on Nov. 1, 1946.

1991 – John Tonelli played his 1,000th NHL game as the Blackhawks skated to a 1-1 draw with the Flyers.

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