Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
During the early 1990s, the Chicago Blackhawks were a relatively successful team, with a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1992, back-to-back conference finals appearances concluding in 1990, plus two 106-point seasons in 1990-1991 and 1992-1993.
Not coincidentally, attendance at the Chicago Stadium averaged a near-sellout, a trend which carried over to the United Center starting with the 1994-1995 season.
Heavy support of the team continued until the 1997-1998 season, when the Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the first time in 28 years.
Attendance dropped by more than 1,000 fans from the previous season, down to 18,356.
Chicago missed the playoffs again in 1998-1999, attendance dropped again to 17,330.
Chicago missed the playoffs again in 1999-2000, attendance dropped again to 16,274.
Chicago missed the playoffs again in 2000-2001, attendance dropped again to 14,997.
Notice a trend?
It continued, and the Blackhawks drew an average of just 12,727 fans in the 2006-2007 season. Chicago totaled the fourth-fewest wins in the NHL, and found an arena at 62 percent capacity.
Just two seasons later, the Blackhawks made a run to the conference finals, averaging 21,782 fans per game at the United Center.
With a Stanley Cup championship in the following season, Chicago's bandwagon was secured.
This past season, average attendance was 21,423—nearly 9,000 fans per game higher than it was in 2006-2007 after Chicago had missed the playoffs for eight of nine seasons.
Chicago has been home to a number of excellent players, and the Blackhawks are a franchise with a lengthy, rich history that includes many honorable traditions.
The Windy City undoubtedly has thousands of dedicated followers (as does any team), but a myriad of the team's fans are only around to cheer for a winner.
(Attendance records for the 1989-90 to 2009-2010 seasons courtesy of Andrew's Stars Page).