Night and day is the best way to describe how the Chicago Blackhawks used to honor their past and how they honor them now. Actually I'm not sure anyone in sports currently honors their past any better then the Chicago Blackhawks.
One of the coolest moments of the home opener was when the 1961 Stanley Cup winning Hawks brought out the new banner to hand it off to the remaining members of the 2010 team. It took the Hawks 49 years to win their 4th Stanley Cup. Well January 9 against the New York Islanders we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that 1961 winning team.
Some very familiar names and numbers were on that 1961 team. Let's just say some of these guys have more then one banner hanging in the rafter at the UC. In goal there was #1, Glenn Hall. Along the blueline their was alternate captain Pierre Pilote whose #3 is up in the rafters. But let's not forget a pair of young 20 somethings in #21 Stan Mikita and #16 Bobby Hull. That's right even though Hull's #9 hangs from the rafters he was wearing 16 when he hoisted that cup 50 years ago.
It took Chicago six games to defeat the Detroit Red Wings. Yeah back then the Wings and Hawks were in different conferences so they were able to face off for the Cup. The Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs to make it while the Hawks had to get by the Montreal Canadians. Talk about an Original Six dream come true. It is a big deal when two original six teams just make it to the conference finals can you imagine four of the six making it now a days.
It is going to be a fun night at the United Center and let's hope the Hawks get the 2 points unlike last time these guys were on the ice on opening night.