The Chicago Blackhawks Player of the Decade

As the decade comes to a close, it’s easy to be emotional as a Blackhawks fan. It’s bittersweet to see the 2010s come to a close. There have certainly been rough patches, and the end of the decade is not what fans want, but this has absolutely been the golden age of Blackhawks hockey in Chicago.

So many players have played critical roles in the Hawks become a dynasty in the first half of the decade. Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Dave Bolland, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Patrick Sharp are just a few of the names who have been fan favorites. Their jerseys will be worn to the United Center – and arenas around the NHL – with pride for decades to come.

The Hawks have played a handful of outdoor games and been one of the primary teams the NHL has used to market the game to a larger audience. They’ve been exciting at their best and a capable villain as other teams have climbed to the mountain top.

Chicago’s core won three Cups before the Sidney Crosby-led Penguins could. Dale Tallon built a championship roster and Stan Bowman rebuilt around the core to win two more championships.

Joel Quenneville became a Hall of Fame coach in Chicago. His tenure was marked by political issues between the bench and the front office, fans complaining about ice time and blaming either the coach or general manager when the team didn’t win. He left Chicago as the greatest coach in Blackhawks history – without question.

But who is the Blackhawks’ Player of the Decade?

Corey Crawford has been taken for granted since he arrived in Chicago. He’s been the backstop on two Stanley Cup championship teams. His 249 victories rank ninth in the NHL in the decade. He has a .917 save percentage since Jan. 1, 2010, which is better than Jonathan Quick, Marc-Andre Fleury, Ryan Miller and Semyon Varlamov. And, if we’re honest, he should have won the Conn Smythe after the 2013 championship.

Duncan Keith had a tremendous decade. He ranks tenth among defensemen with 426 points, more than Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Weber, Mark Giordano and PK Subban. Only two players – Ryan Suter and Drew Doughty – have been on the ice for more total ice time than Keith in the past decade. Since Jan. 1, 2010, Keith has been on the ice for more than 18,680 minutes. That doesn’t include the Olympics, where Keith won two gold medals.

Keith has won two Norris Trophies and was named the Conn Smythe winner after the third of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championships. He’s been a warrior and a leader on the back end whose number will be hung from the rafters at the United Center someday. Keith is a certain Hall of Famer as well.

Jonathan Toews had a really good decade. Starting Jan. 1, 2010 the Blackhawks captain is tied for fourth in the NHL with 54 game-winning goals. His 15 short-handed goals rank sixth. He ranks fifth in the NHL with a plus-150 rating. He has averaged .86 points per game, which is the same as Brad Marchand, Brayden Point, Aleksander Barkov and Daniel Sedin. His 365 goals rank 13th overall and his 626 points rank 15th.

Only one player – Patrice Bergeron – has taken more faceoffs and won more faceoffs than Toews this decade. Over ten years, Toews has won 57.2 percent (8,604) of 15,049 faceoffs.

Toews ranks fifth in the decade with 97 playoff points.

Toews has been the captain of the Blackhawks the entire decade. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy with the Blackhawks’ first Stanley Cup championship in 2010 and added a Selke Trophy in 2013 and a Messier Award in 2015. Some time down the road, his number 19 will be retired by the Chicago Blackhawks and he’ll be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame based largely on this decade.

Crawford, Keith and Toews have had tremendous decades. But the player of the decade in Chicago is an easy pick.

Patrick Kane leads the entire NHL in points since Jan. 1, 2010 with 797. His 313 goals rank fourth behind only Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares. His 484 assists rank fourth behind Nicklas Backstrom, Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby. His 49 game-winning goals are tied with Patrick Marleau for 11th in the decade. His 242 power play points rank eighth. And his 1.08 point-per-game average is tied with Stamkos for fourth in the decade behind Connor McDavid, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Only three skaters – Anze Kopitar, Giroux and Ovechkin – have been on the ice for more than Kane’s 15,076 total minutes. He’s been a workhorse who continues to be one of the all-time elite offensive players in franchise history.

In the postseason, Kane has been a beast. Only Crosby (123) has more postseason points in the decade than Kane’s 109. Kane’s 11 game-winning goals in the postseason lead the entire NHL.

In addition to the Conn Smythe in 2013, Kane won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2016. No player will ever wear number 88 in the Indian head ever again. He will join Keith, Toews and probably Hossa in the Hall of Fame some day down the road, and Kane will likely go down as the greatest American-born player in NHL history.

This has been the greatest decade of Blackhawks hockey since the club played its first game on November 17, 1926.

24 thoughts on “The Chicago Blackhawks Player of the Decade

  1. Certainly have been truly blessed to have been able to watch them, they all helped each other to the next level to become team of the decade. Who is best depends on which point of view you want argue from, and nobody would be wrong.

  2. I refuse to acknowledge a list that leaves off such stalwarts as Kyle Beach, Jeremy Morin & Jack Skille…

  3. Wow. This is amazing when you put together all of the accomplishments of these individuals, and what that has translated into as part of incredible team success.

    We Blackhawks fans have been tremendously fortunate.

    One could argue that Marian Hossa’s name could be included in that list. His overall statistics do not pop out as dramatically as the others. However, as we all know his great two way play and steady performance, key goals, and contributions to the Cups are something that can’t be denied by any observer of this team. And if you listen to those who played with him, he’s the best guy and best teammate that they could have hoped to have. AND ….. apparently the guy played a lot with the skin condition over his career and still did all of the things he did. Unbelievable. One might say he had a little more than half a decade, but what time he had was incredible.

    Great post, Tab.

  4. Hossa was, in some ways, the catalyst that made it all work. If you look at this team with him and without him, it’s a stark contrast.

  5. See what you go and do Tab.Get me all sentimental and also feeling a little selfish and guilty at the same time.I have been truly blessed to have been a Chicago Blackhawks fan since 1969.Have had the time of my life the whole time.Even appreciated the struggles of the late 90s to the mid 2000s.These last 10 years though with not only the obvious Champions on the list but all the other high quality guys that helped protect and raise the core group will be the most special.I am tough on the team sometimes but man what a thrill ride they have given all of us Hawk fans.

  6. Kane is the correct pick followed by Keith and Hossa. Kane remains brilliant when he wants to bring it. They’ve never been able to replace 81 in the lineup. I agree with others that Hossa’s intangibles, along with his stats, had a huge impact on the team’s success.

  7. Ironically how Seabrook is not mentioned.
    Especially in today’s ‘I hate Seabrook’ climate.

    1. Did we forget his 2013 penalty box pep talk to Toews in Detroit?

    2. Did we forget his 2013 GWOT series clincher vs. Detroit?

    3. I know we forgot his 2013 Game 4 OT SCF winner vs. Boston?

    5. What about the 2015 WCF game 7 backbreaker against Anaheim?

    We can also talk wakey wakey Backes if you like.
    Remember that next time you see Peter Pan Gustafson try to clear the slot in front of 50 and 40. (That is provided he knows the puck is even there.)

    So OK. You want to hate on a veteran who can still give you #5-6 minutes?
    Hate away.
    Your lack of hockey knowledge shows by doing so.

    But this is a puff piece on yesteryear.
    A yesteryear Seabrook played a huge part of.

    Greatest player of decade? No way.
    Worth an honorable mention?
    You bet your fanny.

  8. But what do I know?
    I have only been a fan since ’67 and grew up in the rafters of the Old Barn.

  9. Great read. I proudly wear the 88 every time I walk into the UC. Kane will go down as a legend in Blackhawks History. I can’t think of any other player I watch and say night in and night out how did he do that???!?

    I would also like to add Seabrook and Hammer to this list. The Seabrook goal and hit on Backes I will always remember. Seabrook always stepped up in big situations as a leader on the team. Hammer was just a warrior of a shot blocker and in my opinion a little better than Keith in the defensive Zone.

    Congrats Blackhawks on an amazing decade, now lets make some changes and start a new one!!!!!

  10. Tab, thanks for the magnificent write-up.

    First half of this decade was a dynasty we will likely not see again. 88, 19, 2, 4, 7, 81, 10, 50. All played unselfishly and lifted each other up as well as the best, smartest, and most deserving hockey fans in the country.

    Was in Toronto, coincidentally, the summer of 2010 and went to the Hockey HOF. Our team picture, taken after we won the Cup, was prominently displayed.

  11. Jim Rutherford……… very nicely put. Seabs may not be what he once was, but we don’t win 3 Cups without him.

  12. Just imagine how we’d all feel about the current team if the Hawks hadn’t already won 3 Cups!

    It was a magnificent run!

  13. It’s most definitely Patrick Kane.
    He has shown he is a level above all the other players. He is the number one player of the decade. And that’s why we call him
    #SHOWTIME!

  14. Just finished Canada beating USA in world juniors game. Lafreniere looked awesome.

    Hawks player for next decade?

  15. When 18 says 88 does things he could never do, or seen before, it gets one’s attention.

    The entire decade is something I never thought was even possible in my lifetime. It very likely won’t happen again. I will always be appreciative of what the franchise was able to deliver. 3 Cups, in what feels like, a blink of an eye.

  16. Well put RD-it’s very easy in our what have you done for me world to filter that gratitude with current negativity.

  17. All this and then the brilliant head coach puts 88 with 22 and 92! Wow, please fire this coach! You can just see Kane’s motivation to play with two AHLers is non existent and upsetting!
    JOKE!

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