Who Should Be The Next Generation of Blackhawks Ambassadors?
With the news on Monday morning that the Blackhawks are going back to the drawing board with their ambassador program, it’s a good time to think about what — and who — the fans would want to see hanging around the United Center.
The reality is, sadly, that the Hull-Mikita-Pilote generation of players and fans aren’t there any more. Now, if you’re in your mid-50s your favorites are guys from the late-70s and into the 1980s. If you’re in your 40s, the guys from the 1990s are who you grew up watching. And… well, who would you really bring back from the early 2000s?
The two former Blackhawks left who had/have an ambassador role are Denis Savard and Chris Chelios.
So let’s make a list. Who would you want as an ambassador for the Blackhawks moving forward?
We’re not going to include one specific name here because we’d like to see him working with the organization in other roles. Eddie Olczyk has been and continues to be an ambassador for the Blackhawks and the game of hockey all over the continent. But it would be hard to sign autographs and sit in the suite waving to the fans if he becomes the president of hockey operations…
Steve Larmer – his number should have been retired years ago, and he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was Marian Hossa of the 1980s — an exceptional two-way forward who averaged better than 1.0 point per game for more than 1,000 games in his career. The divorce with the Hawks was a rough one, so the Blackhawks would need to bring bandaids to that reunion.
Doug Wilson – Wilson, now a Hall of Famer, would need to step away from his role with the San Jose Sharks. He was an all-time great defenseman for the Blackhawks who still holds most of the team’s records… and probably will for a long time.
Tony Amonte – before Patrick Sharp was No. 10, Amonte was a marvelous offensive player on some mediocre Blackhawks teams.
Jeremy Roenick – he didn’t play half of his career in Chicago, but this is where it started. His removal from NBC’s broadcast team because of comments made about a female colleague and his politics might make it tough for JR to come back, but he was the most electrifying forward in Chicago in the early 1990s.
Eric Daze – once a really good scorer for the Hawks, back injuries (and botched surgeries) cost him a longer career. He still lives in the area and was always a great guy with the fans.
This was a rough decade for the Blackhawks. Steve Sullivan? Alexei Zhamnov? If we want to reach to nominate someone from this decade, we’ll put one name on the list.
Brent Seabrook – recently retired and still a fan favorite, he — with Duncan Keith — was a building block for the dynasty. He was as good as they come on the back end for more than a decade.
Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and eventually Duncan Keith would be names we would circle. Some of the guys we would also like to see stay associated with the organization for a long time are still playing (19, 88).
30 thoughts on “Who Should Be The Next Generation of Blackhawks Ambassadors?”
darryl sutter, larmer, roenick, doug wilson, bill white, hossa, hjalmarsson. just off the top of my head.
I agree with everyone that Tab mentioned. I would add Darryl Sutter and then I would look at the guys who were here during those dark years. Kyle Calder is one of those guys. Not a big name, as a result of those impossibly bad years, but he stood out. He was the 19 before Toews. A tough list indeed. A lot of the guys who were here, in those times, spent more time on other teams than with the Blackhawks. There are unsung guys like Bob Murray and Keith Brown, from the 80’s. Do we acknowledge those bruisers like Stu Grimson, Mike Peluso, or “the cannonball” Jocelyn Lemieux? Mike Keenan players that brought us to our feet when that line hit the ice? Sh*t was gonna happen when they went out there…and we loved them for it. We had some really bad teams, but even in the dark days, there were some points of light.
Let me throw out one goalie that was solid but stuck on bad teams. Jocelyn Thibault. Like Kyle Calder, he gave it all for this team. He deserved better, but he played hard and played well.
It shouldn’t be this tough. But…with this organ-I-zation, unfortunately, it is. I look forward to seeing who everyone else submits. Bring it!!!
As much as i agree Larmer would be a great choice, just don’t see it happening. If redefining the role of ambassador means former players still, then the most likely to me are Hossa and Olcyck unless he is in plans to take over director of hockey ops at some point then they may not name him officially an ambassador yet. Glenn Hall if still able to do it would be a very nice gesture of respect as well.
I’m betting over a third of the fans that post here are still from the Hull-Mikita-Pilote era. We’re not all dead yet. Maybe Danny thinks we are. What makes you think that they would want to be associated with this dredge of an organization now???
Olczyk sorry happens when your typing and thinking something else at the same time.
Teenager me would do backflips to see Tony Amonte as an ambassador. ;)
As *my* teenager asked when she opened a pack of ‘old’ Blackhawks trading cards: “Did they just give the 10 to the cute guys with good hair?”
All great suggestions. And given the high praise that Zhamnov had for Chicago & the Blackhawks during these olympics (see Leah Raihimi interview), it wouldn’t surprise me if Alexei is named to the group soon.
Hey Mister, there are many of us Mikita, Hull & Pilote fans still around and still watching the Hawks. I’m 80 and my husband is 81 and we can’t remember the last time we missed watching a game.
Ruth Patrick: You have won: The “Comment” of the week!! Wishing you and your husband many more years of watching Hawks Hockey!!
Eddie Belfour, Corey Crawford, Dale Talon, Phil Russell, Al Secord, Dennis Hull
Emily’s Dad: Dennis Hull would be GREAT as an ambassador. Problem is he would have half of the people in attendance at a game out in the lobby laughing their butts off while the game started. A much under appreciated player among fans but very much appreciated by players.
Emily’s dad; this are great suggestions.
Sad truth is after the shit show or Rocky, the Kyle Beach fiasco, some of these players may not want to be Ambassador’s. Not to mention the organization did not treat these players very well either. I can see Daze as one, perhaps Burish, Sharp…..not many others though. Later would be great, but the organization has forgotten him a long time ago.
Ambassador! Some of the players mentioned don’t want anything to do with the Blackhawks any longer ! So be careful who you talk about ! You’d have to go to some of those Canadian communities and talk with them or go sit on the dock of the bay and listen to what they have to say ! The Blackhawk organization have done some stupid things over the last 50 years ,they aren’t good corporate Angels ! Some people don’t get it and neither do the owners ! I’m from Canada and I’ve heard all the stories from a lot of the players ! That’s all ! POPS 4
Sad about Bobby Hull. Wondering if the double threats of alcohol and CTE did their damage.
I would ask the question of whether or not the Blackhawks need ambassadors.
At least rest it awhile. Get the organization’s feet back under itself.
Get an identity separated from the bad taste that the last couple of years have brought.
Then bring in Larmer if they can get him.
@Big Indian I read your post and thought, I wish I had written that.
Agree with Big Indian. This team is a mess in every way right now. it will take a while to clean up the reputation and get a reasonably good product on the ice. Then they can think about Ambassadors.
Correct fix team first worry about ambassadors later. Better yet ambassadors off season news.
Piggy backing Brian Lawton’s suggestions of Fluery to Colorado and Kane to Hurricanes what can we get.
From Colorado a first is a must. Their first isn’t much because it’s late so they should give it up. Kuemper offsets money and both are FAs so they can be signed back if wanted. Byram possible because they have Makar. If we can sneak in Jost would be nice.
Tough what to get from Canes for Kane.
Thinking a #2 this year #1 next year for starters. Don’t know how their Kotkaniemi signing is going but him with Necas I believe would be good.
What about Kyle Beach? That would be another righting a wrong! Let him become part of the organization, and what better way to start him off than as an ambassador. His NHL career was ruined as a member of the Blackhawks, so why not develop him as an NHL executive. He could be the ultimate “intern”!
Heard it here first. Who ever gets Fluery wins the Cup.
Who will get MAF … OILERS …LEAFS …. now their is a few teams willing to pay for Marc-Andre.
4 weeks from now .
And my feeling is that next year he comes back for almost all year then he get trade again with the team of his choice like this year .
Just my 2 pesos
MAF doesn’t need to be here next year. He would simply be in the way, which he has proven to be this year. Not his fault. He came here expecting the Hawks to contend for the playoffs. By bringing Fleury here, we gave no chance to Lankinen to grow into a possible NHL starting goalie, so why would Lankinen re-sign here, especially if Fleury comes back or stays here?
We need to develop a goalie for the future. It may not be Lankinen, but having Fleury here really lowers the options. I know – we can always rent a goalie from the open market. But why try to raise one of our own? Would Soderblom be ready for fulltime NHL duty next year? I think it is highly unlikely. Move Fleury now, give the reigns to Lankinen, and let Soderblom get a few more games this year. He can bounce up and down with Delia. Delia is UFA also.
Koskinen and Lankinen will be our goalies for next year. Both at 2mil a year. Koskinen for 1 Lankinen for 3. If not Koskinen then Kuemper. Comesso in net with Lankinen in 2-3 years.
Big Indian, exactly!
MAF being here means the Hawks were gunning for the PO’s from day
one. But since Thanksgiving when teams are meant to be out of contention
if not in a PO position, Lanks should’ve then been given more starts, but
that’s the Hawks for you.
So did anyone else see McKinnon take a wack at the linesman, while
the NHL says “big deal nothing to see here”
Bettman and the NHL owners need to wake the f**k up, hypocrisy
and double standards don’t help the game at all.
DollarBill agree they were trying for playoffs this season from the start, likely if MAF is back next year or even a no.1 goalie brought in, the same thoughts could apply if he were to carry the bulk of starts. Also likely means Lankinen wouldn’t be back, quite possibly moved at tdl as well and they don’t consider him as a no. 1 goalie or a future piece.
Ian should you be correct it most likely means KD is the new GM and
if that’s the case it means no new eyes are looking at what the organization
has become. Do they have anyone in the organization that is good at
evaluating the talent they have?
DollarBill evaluating the young talent they have, is an area that needs to become a strength of this organization under KD or whoever is Gm.
Lankinen and or Soderblom need to take 50% of the starts next year. This is a way to tank without tanking. Watch one of them if not both have Carter Hart or Binnington rookie year.
As for Hagel, if NJ would give a 1st and a prospect you have to do it. A 1st in 23 not protected and either Holtz or Stillman.