In the spirit of the Blackhawks franchise's resurrection in the city of Chicago, and its attempts to bring the history of the organization back into the spotlight, I've compiled this list of who I believe are the top 10 greatest players to ever don the sweater in the city of Chicago:
10. Keith Magnuson - D
Magnuson played from 1969 to 1980, all with the Chicago Blackhawks. He played in 589 career games, and he is widely regarded as one of the best defensemen to ever wear the Indian Head Sweater. He played in two Stanley Cup Finals, but his Blackhawks were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens both times. He was the captain of the team from 1975-1979.
His notable stats include a three-goal and 20-assist season in 1970-1971, the same year that he recorded 291 penalty minutes. PIM is the statistic that he made his biggest impact in, notching an astonishing 1442 penalty minutes in his 11 seasons in the league. His numbers dropped significantly after the 1975-76 season, and peaked one more time in 1977-78, with 145 penalty minutes in 67 games.
Magnuson was killed in an auto accident in 2003. His number three will be retired in a ceremony at the United Center on November 12.
9. Bill Mosienko - RW
Mosienko played from 1941-1955, all of his seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. He played in 710 NHL games, scoring 258 goals and notching 282 assists. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1945, a campaign in which he scored 28 goals in 50 games, and also had 26 assists that year. He was also named to the NHL All-Star team five times.
Mosienko was a fast skater who scored a lot of goals during his years with the Blackhawks. His most famous accomplishment in a Hawks uniform occurred in a game on March 23, 1952. Against the New York Rangers, Mosienko notched the fastest hat trick in NHL history, scoring three goals in 21 seconds. It was this accomplishment, and his stellar career in Chicago, that led to his Hall of Fame induction in 1965.
Mosienko died of brain cancer in 1994.
8. Doug Bentley - LW
Doug Bentley played 16 seasons in the NHL, 15 of which were spent with the Blackhawks. In his career, he scored 219 goals and 324 assists, while playing in 565 games. He also scored nine goals in 23 playoff games. He had a couple of notable campaigns, scoring 38 goals in 50 games during the 1943-1944 season. And how did he follow up this stellar season? By taking a year off from hockey and tending to the family farm in Canada during the last days of World War II.
Bentley’s stellar on-ice play won him numerous awards. He was given the Art Ross Trophy in 1943, and he was a three-time first All-Star Team member in 1943, 1944, and 1947. He was also voted the top hockey player in Chicago for the first half of the 20th century in 1950. He and his brother Max were both named to The Hockey News’ list of the 100 greatest all-time players.
Doug spent his time after playing coaching. His son Doug Jr. became the youngest player to ever play a shift in a professional hockey game in 1966 at the age of 14.
Doug passed away at the age of 56 in 1972.
7. Denis Savard - C
Denis Savard took the Chicago hockey world by storm when he joined the Blackhawks prior to the 1980-81 season. He was drafted third-overall that year, and was the highest-drafted player in franchise history until some kid named Patrick Kane came along in 2007.
Savard spent 11 seasons with the Blackhawks. He had many great years with the team, and in his illustrious career he played in 1196 games, scoring 473 goals and adding 865 assists. He also had 1336 penalty minutes—a high number that indicates the level of tenacity with which he played the game.
His playoff record was also stellar. He played in 169 playoff games, scoring 66 goals and adding 109 assists. Once again, he had a slew of penalty minutes, racking up 256 PIM in his career. He is third in Blackhawks history in points, behind only Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.
Another notable fact about him is who he was traded for. He was traded to Montreal in 1990, and in exchange the Blackhawks got defenseman Chris Chelios, who would only lead the team to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance and be the captain for five years in the mid- to late-'90s.
Savard was also a coach for the team, taking over the 2006-2007 team in mid-season. He guided the Hawks to a 65-66-16 record while with the club, and he was fired four games into the current NHL season.
Look for the rest of this countdown of the 10 greatest Blackhawks in future editions of the Four Feathers Blog.