Monday, January 17, 2011

The Greatest Blackhawks of All Time

     The Hockey News recently revealed its updated lists of the 100 greatest NHL players of all time and the ten greatest players of each franchise. The four greatest Blackhawks, according to The Hockey News list, were Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote, and Glenn Hall.
     All of the above were teammates on the 1960-61 team that won the Stanley Cup and was honored at the United Center last week in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the championship. In conjunction with the ceremony, the Hawks' management announced that Hull and Mikita would each be honored with his own statue outside the arena. "I absolutely don't know how to explain the euphoria," Mikita said. "Now I know how Michael [Jordan] feels out there. It will take 100 years just to get the smile off my face."
     "This is likely the greatest tribute I'll ever have paid to me," said Hull.
     Maybe so, but his former teammate Glenn Hall—"Mr. Goalie" to players and fans of those days—came close when he recalled Hull's legendary slap shot. "Please don't tell me how lucky I was I didn't have to look at [Hull] in games," Hall remarked, "because I faced him ten times a week in practice. It wasn't much fun with Bobby."
     In naming Hull as the greatest Blackhawk of them all, The Hockey News ranked him as the greatest left wing in league history to boot. The publication also noted, very aptly, that Mikita should probably be listed as number 1A rather than number 2 among those who have worn the Indian-head sweater.

The Hockey News Ten Greatest Blackhawks:

1. Bobby Hull, left wing, 1957-1972

2. Stan Mikita, center, 1959-1980

3. Pierre Pilote, defenseman, 1955-1968

4. Glenn Hall, goalie, 1957-1967

5. Denis Savard, center, 1980-1990, 1995-1997

6. Tony Esposito, goalie, 1969-1984

7. Earl Seibert, defenseman, 1936-1945

8. Chris Chelios, defenseman, 1990-1999

9. Ed Belfour, goalie, 1988-1997

10. Max Bentley, center, 1940-1947

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