It has been a while, hasn't it? To be honest, all this noise and mess of a situation turns me off to the point where I just don't want to be around it anymore. Being a teacher, and luckily not a CPS one, it was hard to watch the strike go down, and one of my districts nearly followed in those footsteps. It is hard to watch teachers get a bad name, or wrongfully claim to be a martyr, hard to see education held up for ransom while the real issues are not discussed and a political war ensues while the same old crappy system lives on after the dust settles. With hockey, it is the same. Eventually, the players will have to give in to save their game and nothing substantial will change.
It is hard to keep caring when the world looks so hopeless. My only avenue is to tune out every once and a while. Hockey is usually my escape, so it hurts when even this great game becomes too political to care about. Sure, their is usually a good guy and a bad guy, but it ceases to matter after enough time has gone by. Lucky for me, I play frequently enough to get my dose. In fact, wish me luck on this weekends playoffs.
So, in the act of bringing some of the good old feelings back, I ask: Who is your favorite Blackhawk of All Time?
My favorite is obviously the guy pictured above, Steve Larmer. To this day, his is the only Hawks jersey I own. I also own a Bure and a Jagr, if you must know. I always had a special place for Larms, and I still get a giddy sense of pride when I hear a recording of Foley yelling his name. What always impressed me about Larmer, and I tried to emulate him as a young skater, was his gritty all around contribution to the team. Larmer was the kind of player you could count on everyday to do the right things, the little things, and he was pretty clutch too.
My first ever hockey coach compared me to him at the end of my first season playing the game. I was pretty young, new to a game full of kids who had been playing a few more years than I, and I sucked to say the least. I scored 1 goal, it was the last game of the season, and I kind of just pushed the puck into an empty net (greatest feeling of my life). Hearing my name associated with the great Steve Larmer flipped a switch somewhere in my body. I had a new sense of purpose. It wasn't like I could let that comparison stand unless I was going to hold up to it. But, coach wasn't talking about scoring goals. He was telling me that he saw promise, and more importantly, that I was doing the little things that counted day in and day out. He was telling me that he saw in me the same cold stare of hockey in Larmer's eyes that was the result of the greatest sport on Earth running through his veins.
Needless to say, I came back the next year with a new purpose for the game. I still gave my best to do all of the little things, I just kicked up the scoring a bit, well, maybe a lot. I think it was something to the tune of 5 goals in my first game back. It changed the course of my life for a while, and the rest was history.
The funny thing about Steve Larmer, is that he is not often referred to as a goal scorer, and yet, he is very near the top, All Time, in Goals, Assists and overall Points for the Blackhawks. 3rd in Goals, 5th in Assists, and 4th in total points. Not bad for a gritty player known for his rugged play. It would not be a shocker that I am a pretty big Bolland fan today, as I see many comparisons in what they bring to the game.
The year the Hawks won the Cup, I would say that Versteeg and Bolland were my favorites. I was often heard questioning whether the Hawks should keep Verstud and let Kane go instead. To which I heard screaming profanities.
I also consider myself to be a pretty big fan of Stalberg these days. I might even be his biggest supporter through the last year. And for the first time, I find myself being a huge fan of the same player that everyone else is. Johnny Toews is maybe the first high profile player to play for the Hawks in which I agree with the exaggerated praise.
But enough about my favs, who is yours?
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