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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: The Chicago Stadium hosts its first game & more

Greg Boysen Avatar
December 17, 2022

The current Chicago Blackhawks season has most fans looking toward the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look back to the glory days of this “Original 6” franchise. This week has seen more than a handful of milestones, including the first time the puck dropped at the “Old Barn.”

 Dec. 15

1928 – Hugh Coflin was born in Blaine Lake, SK. The defenseman played 31 games for the Blackhawks during the 1950-51 seasons, picking up three assists and 33 penalty minutes. Colfin was the player to be named later in the Aug. 20, 1951, trade with the Detroit Red Wings, including George Gee, Clare Martin, Jim McFadden, Max McNab, Jimmy Peters, and Rags Raglan.

1929 – The Blackhawks played their first game at the Chicago Stadium. A record-setting crowd of over 14,000 fans saw the home team beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1. Vic Ripley scored a pair of goals 35 seconds apart in the second period, including the first goal in the new building. The “Old Barn” was home until the Blackhawks moved across the street to the United Center in 1994.

1965 – Bobby Hull scored four goals and added an assist for five points in the 8-4 win over the Boston Bruins. He finished the 1965-66 season with 54 goals in 70 games, an NHL record at the time.

1986 – Mike Blunden was born in Toronto, ON. He was the Blackhawks’ second-round (43rd overall) pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in just 10 games before he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Adam Pineault on Jam. 10, 2009. He bounced between the AHL and NHL until 2018 before playing two more seasons in Europe.

Dec. 16  

1899 – Bob Trapp was born in Pembroke, ON. The blueliner was loaned to the Blackhawks by Portland Rosebuds of the WHL. He played 82 games over the next two seasons and scored four goals and eight points.

1964 – Hull scored twice, becoming the second player in Blackhawks’ history to score 250 goals. He also added three assists to cap off a five-point night in a 7-5 win over the visiting Bruins.

1970 – Stan Mikita and Cliff Koroll had their way with the St. Louis Blues during a big 8-3 win. Mikita scored four goals and assisted on another, while Koroll set a team record with four assists during the second period. The victory extended the Blackhawks’ home unbeaten streak to 17 games (15-0-2).

1973 – Tony Esposito became the second goaltender to win 150 games for the Blackhawks with a 6-1 road victory at the New York Rangers. Esposito won 418 games before retiring, more than any other netminder who ever played for the team.

1979 – Rookie Darryl Sutter scored his first NHL goal during a 7-3 win over the visiting Red Wings. He spent his entire playing career with the Blackhawks, scoring 161 goals and 279 points in 406 games.

1990 – Jeremy Roenick netted his third career hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars. The victory extended the Blackhawks’ home undefeated streak against their Norris Division rivals to 10 straight games (8-0-2).

Dec. 17

1957 – The largest trade in NHL history, at the time, went down between the Blackhawks and Red Wings. Chicago sent Nick Mickoski, Jack McIntyre, Bob Bailey, and Hec Lalande to Detroit for Dutch Reibel, Billy Dea, Bill Dineen, and Lorne Ferguson. These were the most players involved in one transaction up to this point.

1958 – Ted Lindsay scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-2 win over the Bruins. The big performance gave him 271 career goals, making him the highest-scoring left wing in NHL history, passing Aurele Joliat.

1977 – Samuel Pahlsson was born in Ange, Sweden. He was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks with Logan Stephenson for James Wisniewski and Petri Kontiola. The veteran center had two goals and an assist in 13 games before signing with the Blue Jackets the following offseason.

1989 – Doug Wilson scored a goal and added two assists in the first period to collect his 700th career NHL point as the Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5.

1992 – Steve Larmer picked up his 500th NHL assist during a 5-1 home win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Dec. 18

1978- Dan Cleary was born in Carbonear, NL. The Blackhawks used the 13th overall pick of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft to select the right wing. He played the first 41 games of his NHL career with the Blackhawks, scoring four goals and nine points.

1980 – Defenseman Mike O’Connell was traded to the Bruins for forward Al Secord. O’Connell spent six seasons in Boston, but this trade was a clear win for the Blackhawks. Secord scored 213 goals and 373 points in eight seasons with Chicago, including three seasons of at least 40 goals. He scored a career-high 54 goals during the 1982-83 season.

1982 – Larmer scored the second hat trick of his rookie season. His linemate, Denis Savard, recorded four assists as the Blackhawks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-5.

1983 – The Blackhawks retired Hull’s No. 9 before a 5-1 loss to the Bruins. The Golden Jet is the franchise’s all-time goals leader with 604, fifth with 549 assists, and second with 1,153 points.

1997 – Alex DeBrincat was born in Farmington Hills, MI. The dynamic winger was drafted in the second round (39th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 160 goals and 307 points in 368 games for the Blackhawks. On July 7, 2022, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators for a first and second-round pick in 2002 and a third-round pick in 2024. The 2022 picks were used to take Kevin Korchinski and Paul Ludwinski.

Dec. 19

1948 – Ken Brown was born in Port Arthur, ON. The goaltender made one relief appearance for the Blackhawks during the 1970-71 season. It was the period of his NHL career.

1958 – Behn Wilson was born in Toronto, ON. The Philadelphia Flyers traded the defenseman to the Blackhawks for Doug Crossman and a second-round pick on June 8, 1983. Wilson scored 39 goals and 146 points in 262 games before he was claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 3, 1988.

1966 – Eric Weinrich was born in Roanoke, VA. He was acquired with Patrick Poulin from the Hartford Whalers for Lamer and Bryan Marchment on Nov. 2, 1993.   On Nov. 16, 1998, Weinrich was traded with Jeff Hackett, Alain Nasreddine, and a fourth-round pick to the Canadiens for Jocelyn Thibault, Dave Manson, and Brad Brown.

1969 – Esposito recorded the fifth shutout of his rookie season in a 4-0 win at the Oakland Seals. He finished the 1969-70 season with 15 shutouts, an NHL rookie record that still stands.

1970 – Robert Lang was born in Teplice, Czechoslovakia. The veteran center signed with the Blackhawks on July 2, 2008. He had 21 goals and 54 points in his lone season in Chicago. On Sept. 28, 2008, he was traded to the Canadiens for a second-round pick in 2010. The pick was traded multiple times before the Bruins used it to draft Jared Knight.

1985 – Carter Hutton was born in Thunder Bay, ON. The Blackhawks signed the free-agent netminder on Feb. 24, 2012. He made one start during the 2012-13 season, the final regular season game at the St. Louis Blues, and gave up three goals. Hutton signed with the Nashville Predators the following offseason.

Dec. 20

1953 – Bill Mosienko scored two goals and added an assist to give him 500 career points as the Blackhawks won 4-1 against the visiting Maple Leafs.

1959 – The Blackhawks scored seven goals in the second period to beat the Maple Leafs 7-4. Hull netted his second career hat trick and added an assist to lead the offense with four points.

1964 – Hull had another big night five years later when he scored in a 3-2 victory over the Bruins. The goal gave him 28 through the first 28 games of the 1964-65 season. He had 32 goals in 35 games before injuries slowed him down. Hull finished the season with 39 goals in 61 total games.

1970 – Pit Martin and Hull each scored to lead the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The victory was their 13th straight win at the Chicago Stadium, a new team record, and their home unbeaten streak increased to 18 games (16-0-2).

1986 – Savard scored a goal and added three assists in a 6-2 road win at the Bruins. He loved seeing the Bruins on the schedule during his career, as he scored 20 goals and 58 points in 58 games against them.

1989 – The Blackhawks set a team record with four goals in 1:56 of the third period to beat the Blues 9-6. Doug Wilson became the first defenseman in team history to record 500 career assists. He had a goal and three helpers on this night.

1992 – Ed Belfour picked up his fourth shutout of the season in the Blackhawks’ 4-0 win over the North Stars. He increased his unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1) as Chicago won their ninth straight game on home ice.

1997 – Dmitri Nabokov scored two power-play goals in his NHL debut, while Jeff Hackett recorded his second straight shutout as the Blackhawks snapped a seven-game winless streak (0-4-3) with a 5-0 win at the Vancouver Canucks.

Dec. 21

1937 – Paul Thompson became the first player to score a goal on his brother when he spoiled Tiny Thompson’s shutout bid by beating him with nine seconds left to play. Tiny and the Bruins got the last laugh with a 2-1 win over Paul and his Blackhawks.

1956 – Peter Marsh was born in Halifax, NS. He was acquired from the Jets for Doug Lecuyer and Tim Trimper on Dec. 1, 1980. The right wing had 24 goals and 68 points in 197 games over four seasons for the Blackhawks.

1979 – Steve Montador was born in Vancouver, BC. The Blackhawks were the sixth and final stop of his 10-season NHL career. He was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres for a seventh-round draft pick on June 29, 2011. The defenseman had five goals and 14 points in 52 games during the 2011-12 season. He retired from professional hockey in 2013. On Feb. 15, 2015, Montador was found dead in his Ontario home, just four days before the birth of his son. He was only 35. Researchers who studied his brain concluded Montador suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) caused by multiple concussions.

1993 – Malcolm Subban was born in Toronto, ON. The Bruins selected the netminder in the first round (24th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He arrived in Chicago on Feb. 24, 2020, when the Vegas Golden Knights traded him, Stanislav Demin, and a second-round pick for Robin Lehner. That second-round pick turned into the Blackhawks’ top goaltending prospect, Drew Commesso. Subban went 14-6-8 with a 3.20 goals-against average, a .900 save percentage, and one shutout during the 2020-21 season. He was traded to the Sabres for future considerations on Dec. 2, 2021.

To stay up to date with the current state of affairs, make sure you are checking out the CHGO Blackhawks podcast.

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