The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the most storied franchises in NHL history. With six Stanley Cups to their name and almost 100 years of history to sift through, there are certainly players you forgot played in Chicago.
Number 5- Dan Cleary
Best known for his decade-long tenure with the Detroit Red Wings where he won a Stanley Cup in 2008, Dan Cleary’s NHL career started when he was drafted by the Blackhawks 15th overall in 1997. He made his NHL debut out of camp for the 1997-98 season, but was returned to the OHL after just six pointless games. Cleary returned to the NHL the following season for 35 games, but spent the bulk of the season in the AHL. On March 20, 1999, Cleary was traded to the Oilers as part of a huge seven player deal that saw Boris Mironov shipped Chicago.
Number 4- Bruce Boudreau
The former head coach of the Wild, Ducks and Capitals, Bruce Boudreau once had a professional career that spanned almost 20 years, most of it in the AHL. His first seven seasons he spent with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. On October 10, 1985 Boudreau signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks and played in seven NHL games, scoring one goal, though spent the rest of the season with the Nova Scotia Oilers. He stayed with Chicago’s AHL affiliate for one more season before moving on to the Springfield Indians of the AHL. His seven games in Chicago were the last NHL games of his career.
Number 3- Bobby Orr
Possibly the greatest defenseman of all-time, Bobby Orr is remembered for his decade-long stint with the Boston Bruins from 1966 to 1976. When a knee injury derailed his career, it resulted in a contract dispute with the Bruins who were ready to originally to pay him $19 million in today’s money, but retracted their massive contract because of the potential limit on his career. The very messy split saw Orr sign a five-year guaranteed contract with the Blackhawks, which was put under the microscope when he was accused of tampering with the negotiations. The contract eventually was deemed legal, but Orr’s body just couldn’t hold out anymore. He suited up for just 26 games over the following two seasons before multiple knee surgeries forced him to retire at just 30 years old.
Number 2- Peter Bondra
The Washington Capitals legend became somewhat of a journeyman during his last few NHL campaigns, playing for three teams in his last three seasons. After suiting up for the Thrashers during the 2005-06 season, Bondra still managed to post 39 points in 60 games. Unsure about continuing his playing career in 2006-07, he eventually signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks on December 10, 2006. He scored five goals and 14 points in 37 games, his first being the 500th goal of his career, making him the fourth Blackhawk to accomplish that feat. At season’s end, Bondra retired with 1,081 NHL games under his belt.
Number 1- Dominik Hasek
One of the greatest goalies in history took the first step in his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks when he was drafted 199th overall in 1983. Seven seasons after he was drafted, Hasek finally made the move to North America and joined the Blackhawks as a backup to Ed Belfour. He played in 25 games in the following two seasons, often finding himself on the bench or demoted to the IHL. It wasn’t until the 1992 Stanley Cup Final when Chicago took on Pittsburgh and Belfour faltered that Hasek got his first taste of the big time. He played in three games and looked solid doing so. The Blackhawks were still set on Belfour as their number one goalie, and Hasek’s play in the playoffs caught the attention of the Buffalo Sabres, who acquired him on August 7, 1992, and the rest was history.
Sean O’Donnell was a longtime LA King and won a Cup with Anaheim during his 17-year NHL career. He played for nine different teams during his 1,224 games, the very last being the Chicago Blackhawks. He suited up for 51 games with the Hawks and retired at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Signing as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2006, It marked Boucher’s fourth NHL team. He took the backup role to Nikolai Khabibulin, as the Blackhawks original backup Patrick Lalime missed the early part of the season with injury after suffering a herniated disk during training camp. Upon Lalime’s return in February, Boucher was placed on waivers and claimed by the Blue Jackets after 15 games as a Blackhawk, though he recorded just a single win in that time.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: thehockeynews.com