I’m Envious Of Anaheim Ducks Fans
As the Blackhawks re-enter a season or rebuilding, there’s been a lot of talk about the futures of the two centerpiece forwards of the organization over the past 15 years: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Fans of professional sports have become jaded to the concept that “it’s a business.” And maybe no organization in the NHL has forced their fans to be accustomed to that reality than the Chicago Blackhawks, especially over the past 35 years. We’ve watched as all-stars and future Hall of Famers have been traded away for various reasons.
If we want to start with the trade that sent Denis Savard to Montreal, we’ve watched as Savard, Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour, Chris Chelios and, more recently, Duncan Keith wore a different jersey. Only Savard came “home” to finish his career on the ice.
The Blackhawks have traded the contracts of Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook to make the cap work easier, but the last time we saw them on the ice was as Blackhawks. But the trades of their contracts meant we never got to say a formal goodbye to a superstar on the ice. We have never had the victory lap to close out a career. We’ve never known a face of the franchise was all done.
This weekend, I found myself envious of the fans in Anaheim saying goodbye to the face of their franchise: Ryan Getzlaf.
Getzlaf had a marvelous career, all of it in Anaheim. He was a big part of the community, but on the ice he was the player who defined almost two decades of hockey for the club. He was the constant; Teemu Selanne was the flashy star, Corey Perry won some individual awards but Getzlaf was there throughout.
Now he’s hanging up his skates. And the fans who have praised — and criticized — his play on the ice during his career were granted one last chance to show their appreciation for his efforts.
The Blackhawks have Kane and Toews under contract for one more year, and their careers are at very different places today. Toews is still working his way back from the health issues the led to him being off the ice for all of last year, and he’s struggled at times this season. Kane is still playing at a high level and reminds us regularly that he’s an elite, all-time great player.
But on July 1, the Blackhawks can start thinking about the future for both. Is an extension in the future for either/both? They’ve signed identical contracts at every step of their careers, but that time is in the past. The dollars they’ll be able to ask for if they reach free agency in 2023 will be different based on their recent performance. And the value the organization places on them will also be different.
Toews is the longest tenured captain in the history of the franchise. Kane is putting up numbers we haven’t seen since Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita were forces for the Hawks nearly 60 years ago. Coupled with the longevity of his tenure in Chicago, Kane is in the conversation to be considered the best forward in franchise history (I would still lean to Mikita, but the gap is closing).
This weekend, I found myself longing to have a victory lap from at least one of them.
As a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, far too many times we’ve watched the “thank you” video tributes. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, Artemi Panarin… so many guys in the past decade that were moved for financial reasons. But Kane and Toews have been the constants. And they’re both still playing.
We don’t know how much longer Toews or Kane want to play. But there’s a big part of me that would love to see every game of their careers played with the Indian head on their chest. And watching the farewell to Getzlaf this weekend, my heart wants it more than the brain that understands that, at the end of the day, this is is a business.
13 thoughts on “I’m Envious Of Anaheim Ducks Fans”
I wouldn’t renew toews if both agree to be moved time to do it hate to see Kane leave if you get a haul it will speed up the rebuild and probably be best to do it and same with the cat hawks are saddled with jones if cat stays 20 million for two players right back where we were cap was so poorly managed and please dach one million first two years 1.5 third year that’s all he deserves he’s been a major disappointment and looks to be quite fragile hurt again I happy with Davidson good trade with lightning and pens for lafferty keep moving forward Kyle dump kubs and dehann gus
i want to thank you for providing this wonderful forum for the hawks fans to enjoy again this season. your dedication to providing excellent video and insightful commentary about the games is terrific. you continue to amaze me at how quickly you are able to post your game summaries. it seems sometimes the final whistle blows, i turn off the tv, off to the computer, and your post is already available. i don’t know how you do it, but it is greatly appreciated.
there are some very knowledgeable fans who opine here and share their wealth of wisdom about the hawks and hockey in general. looking very much forward to reading and sharing about the roster maneuverings and the draft this off season.
hope you have returned to full health.
as to the best of hawks forwards the following are their stats as blackhawks based on an average over an 82 game season:
hull 91 points
roenick 93 points
kane 88 points
larmer 85 points
mikita 86 points
savard 102 points
hull 48 goals
roenick 42 goals
kane 32 goals
larmer 37 goals
mikita 32 goals
savard 35 goals
hull 43 assists
roenick 51 assists
kane 56 assists
larmer 48 assists
mikita 54 assists
savard 67 assists
and, of course, hossa and toews. a strong argument can be made for either of them although they were not point a game producers.
my favorite athlete in any sport in my life is larmer. likely the least skilled of any of the above, not the fastest, not the biggest, just a guy who came to play every night and every shift. as far as the best ….. i think the fans put different values on different aspects of the game. myself, i will always go for the 200 foot player when the stats of players being evaluated are similiar. for me that leaves kane behind all of the above including toews and hossa. in that regard my argument is between roenick and mikita. in addition to their stats and two hundred foot game neither of them played with the quality of players that kane, toews, and hossa did. also they were centers and the argument can be made they played the most important position on the forward line. i was privileged to have season tickets throughout roenick’s career and he was an absolute beast. fast, skilled, a great goal scorer, tough as nails, brought it all every night. i would give him a slight edge when only considering his play. mikita’s longevity was over the top.
The grass is always greener on some other rink ! Firstly Larms needs to be retired in the rafters ! But, I think he’s got a thorn somewhere about many things about the Wirtz Boys and The NHL ! Would be nice to have Toews retire as an Indian but remember it’s all about money ! Just ask the Wirtz boys ! The NHL is full of those big shot owners are Narcissistic and are also Sociopaths ! Some of those NHL stars like The flower come from small Canadian towns and they are different than those “ Dollar Bill “ types “ , best , POPS 4
The grass is always greener on some other rink ! Firstly Larms needs to be retired in the rafters ! But, I think he’s got a thorn somewhere about many things about the Wirtz Boys and The NHL ! Would be nice to have Toews retire as an Indian but remember it’s all about money ! POPS 4
Larms deserves it more than toews he played hard always toews should retire
Good article Tab, agree really appreciate having a site to go to talk Blackhawks 24/7.
Would be great to see Toews do a farewell tour, even if they had to sign him to a 1 year deal next summer to make it happen. It’s not like there is any young forwards needing his spot for a couple of years anyways. All bets off though on how Kane’s final years of his career play out. I thought he was likely looking at moving on but then just lately he throws out the comment on how 12, 17, 88 could be a big line for the Blackhawks for alot of years, so maybe he isn’t.
Hawks29, gotta go with Mikita as Blackhawks best forward. His production and 200ft. game were 2nd to none for sure. He had the idea to use a curved stick first, helped make helmets accepted in the league. Plus after beginning his career as one of the chippiest players in league and being a leading scorer, he re-invented his game to become only player in Nhl history to win Art Ross, Hart & Lady Bing trophies in same season, then for good measure did it next season too. Pretty hard to say somebody had a greater impact than that in my opinion. Totally agree Larmer seems held to a different standard when it comes to hof and retiring no. 28.
can’t argue with any of your points regarding mikita. i just like the extra 30# or so and physicality roenick brought with his game.
Having read numerous articles in which quotes from Kane show his knowledge of both NHL history and Blackhawk history, I think there is a strong chance that Kane stays as long as he can in order to be recognized as best ever for the franchise.
To me, Mikita was (still is) the best Hawk ever – no slight to anyone else.
Another thing about Kane and Toews. They were on three Cup winners in a 31 team league. I’ll always love Hull and Mikita, but they had only one Cup win in primarily a six team league.
I’m going to stick up for 19. As I mentioned before he is a complainer, but what Golden mentioned matters-3 Cups. He also played the full ice, against some of the best players-all 200 feet. He wasn’t overly aggressive but was strong and played ‘in the land of elbows’ behind and in front of the net. This cost him. He was smart and good with the puck, and did the little things (and big things) to win. Without him the excellence of 09-16 doesn’t happen.
Now he isn’t the only one that assured the Cups-Hossa, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Crawford etc. etc. but he wore the ‘C’ and that’s a fact can can’t be denied.
Interesting how Kane cites NYR rebuild as example of “accelerated” rebuilds and how these things can happen faster than people might expect. Newsflash Patrick, Feb 2018 til now is more than 4 yrs! Are you prepared to stick it out for 4+ yrs assuming Hawks can rebuild as “fast” as an “accelerated” rebuild?
As to greatest forwards of all time. The problem is comparing ERA to ERA and then factoring in Stanley Cups. If you factor in Stanley Cups and ignore era differences, the argument is between Kane and Toews. Kane wins for Points consistency, Toews wins for overall importance to Team winning. Center has way more responsibility than Wing, it’s not even close and Kane doesn’t even play SH – which is also a vital component of the game, let alone take regular faceoffs, another key in the playoffs especially. If you ignore ERA and ignore Stanley Cups, it’s probably between Mikita, Roenick, and Savard. I’m biased as Roenick was the only one of the 3 I got to see both live and on TV while he was actually playing and because JR was my first favorite Hawk but he epitomized everything you wanted in a hockey player. Sub him out for Toews in the later ERA and with same supporting cast as Toews had and I strongly feel you get similar levels of success and Cups. No disrespect to Toews but put him in place of Roenick in the 90’s, and the Hawks still get smoked by jagr and the pens and Forsberg and Colorado, etc. Love to see Toews and Kane get victory nights if they leave but would also love to see Seabs, Crow, Hossa, Toews, Kane, and Hjarm all together for a Cup core celebration too maybe with Sharpy too
Missed Keith but I’m sure everyone knew I meant him too