On Friday night, the NHL announced the League’s complete list of its 100 Greatest Players. As an Original Six franchise, the Blackhawks were predictably well represented on the list.
Six active players made the list. Three current members of the Blackhawks were named to the list of the top 100 players of all-time: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.
The other three active players: Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr.
Two players who made their biggest impact on the ice as Blackhawks were named from the first half century of the league (pre-1967).
- Glenn Hall
Hall is best remembered as a Blackhawks iron man, starting 502 consecutive games. He won the Vezina Trophy twice in Chicago (1962-63, 1966-67) and led Chicago to the 1961 Stanley Cup championship. What’s most impressive: he did most of it without wearing a mask. Hall won the Calder Trophy in Detroit before coming to Chicago, and finished his career in St. Louis after the league expanded. He still ranks second in Chicago franchise history in wins and shutouts. Hall was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.
- Max Bentley
Bentley was the first member of the Blackhawks to win the Lady Byng Trophy (1942-43) and Hart Trophy (1945-46), and lead the League in scoring twice (1945-46 and 1946-47). He was one of the best in the game over his five years with the Blackhawks, but was shockingly traded to Toronto for five players on Nov. 4, 1947.
From the 1970s:
- Tony Esposito
Esposito won the Calder Trophy with the Blackhawks in 1969-70 and would stay between the pipes until the 1983-84 season. He won three Vezina Trophies in Chicago, his first coming for his rookie performance. Esposito’s 418 wins remain the most in franchise history, a mere 143 ahead of Glenn Hall. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Stan Mikita
Mikita is, still, the greatest player to ever put on the Indian head sweater. He spent his entire Hall of Fame career in Chicago, playing 1,394 games for the Blackhawks. His 1,467 points are still the benchmark for excellence in the history of the franchise. Mikita won the Art Ross Trophy four times, the Lady Byng Trophy twice and the Hart Trophy twice. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
- Bobby Hull
“The Golden Jet” played 1,036 games for the Blackhawks before jumping ship for the WHA in 1972. While with Chicago, Hull won the Art Ross Trophy three times, the Hart Trophy twice and the Lady Byng Trophy once. His 604 goals are still the most in franchise history.
From the 1980s:
- Denis Savard
Savard played 881 games over two stops in Chicago; he was traded to Montreal for Chris Chelios in 1990, but came back a little more than two seasons to finish his career. He joins Mikita and Hull as the only players to register 1,000 points as a member of the Blackhawks, and still ranks fourth in franchise history with 377 goals (behind Mikita, Hull and Steve Larmer). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.
From the 1990s:
- Chris Chelios
Chelios played 664 games in Chicago and, until last week, was third all-time in point production from the Blackhawks’ blue line (Duncan Keith is now four points past Chelios). He won the Norris Trophy twice as a member of the Blackhawks and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.
A number of players who were named on Friday night had a cup of coffee in Chicago, including:
- Bobby Orr
- Phil Esposito
- Dominik Hasek
On Jan. 1, the first 33 names were revealed from the League’s first 50 years (pre-1967). There were five players among that initial list that spent time in Chicago – including Hall and Bentley. Three of those spent only a minor part of their careers with the Blackhawks.
- Howie Morenz
- Sid Abel
- Ted Lindsay
Among the players noticeably missing from the list was three-time Norris Trophy winner Pierre Pilote.