The Best of the Blackhawks, Then and Now

Some of the greatest players to lace up and take to the ice have donned the Blackhawks sweater, including 36 Hall of Famers. Will any of today’s Hawks make the grade to be added to this list?

Michael Kempny
Blackhawks lifting their 2013 Stanley Cup banner (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)

We take a look at an All-Time Chicago Blackhawks Lineup. NO players from the current roster – we’ll talk about them later.

Here are the all-time greats, followed by some from this year’s team could be there as well. There are some obvious choices, and some remain to be seen.

1st Line

Stan Mikita (C), Bobby Hull (W), Steve Larmer (W)

Centering the first line is Hall of Fame center Stan Mikita. The franchise leader in games played, assists, points and game-winning goals. He won four Art Ross Trophies and two Hart Trophies during his legendary career.

Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita (THW Archives)

Flanking Mikita are Bobby Hull and Steve Larmer. 

Hull led the league in points three times with the Blackhawks and also led the NHL in goals seven times, including four consecutive times from 1965-69. Larmer isn’t a Hall of Fame player, but won the 1982-83 Calder Trophy for rookie of the year with 43 goals and 90 points. He was also an annual contender for the Selke Trophy and his 406 goals and 923 regular season points rank third and fourth in franchise history, respectively.

Pierre Pilote (D), Chris Chelios (D)

The top pairing on defense goes to Pierre Pilote and Chris Chelios.

Chris Chelios
Chris Chelios being honored at the United Center (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Pilote is considered the Blackhawks’ standard on defense, winning three consecutive Norris Trophies from 1962-64. Bear in mind, Pilote finished second in 1961-62, 1965-66 and 1966-67. In his 821 games with the Blackhawks, Pilote put up 77 goals and 477 points and played all but 69 of his career games in Chicago.

Related: Blackhawks & Chelios Together Again

Considered the greatest American defenseman of all time, Chelios logged 664 regular season games with the Blackhawks and had 487 points. A Hall of Famer and two-time Norris Trophy winner (1992-93 and 1995-96), his 0.733 points per game ranks fourth all-time among Blackhawks defensemen and also is credited with 48 points in the postseason for Chicago.

2nd Line

Denis Savard (C), Max Bentley (W), Patrick Sharp (W)

Averaging a point per game in the postseason for the Blackhawks, Hall of Famer Denis Savard centers the second line. His 1,096 regular season points rank third in franchise history.

patrick sharp florida
Three-time Cup winner Patrick Sharp (Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)

Filling out the second line is Max Bentley and Patrick Sharp. Bentley won the Hart Trophy in 1945-46 and logged 235 regular season games for the Blackhawks from 1940-48. A natural center, Bentley led the NHL in points twice and with 1,089 point he ranks fourth among all Blackhawks forwards.

Sharp has three Stanley Cup Rings during his 11 seasons with the Blackhawks and tallied over 20 or more goals in eight seasons. A fan favorite, Sharpy included four 30-goal seasons with the Blackhawks, and one, 2013-14, when he was the team leader in points during the regular season.

Doug Wilson (D), Bill Gadsby (D)

The second line on defense is anchored by the Norris Trophy winner for the 1981-82 season, Doug Wilson. Wilson played in 938 regular season games for the Blackhawks and put up 779 points, which ranks sixth in franchise history. Joining Wilson in this pairing, Hall of Famer Bill Gadsby spent his first nine seasons in Chicago and in 468 games scored 54 goals and 185 points.

3rd Line

Jeremy Roenick (C), Dennis Hull (W), Tony Amonte (W)

Centering our third line is Jeremy Roenick. Although not a Hall of Famer, Roenick spent his first eight years with the Blackhawks and posted triple digit point totals three times. With a 1.137 points per game average he is second-best in franchise history.

Jeremy Roenick #27 of the Chicago Blackhawks
Jeremy Roenick #27 of the Chicago Blackhawks (THW Archives)

Dennis Hull and Tony Amonte flank Roenick on this line. Ranking seventh in goals and eighth in points in franchise history, Hull finished his Blackhawks career with 298 goals and 342 assists for 640 points, and two Finals appearances.

Named a captain in 2000, Amonte led the Blackhawks in goals and points over the three seasons, cracking the 40-goal mark twice. He didn’t miss a single game for five straight seasons (1997-2002) and his 268 goals place him ninth in franchise history.

Earl Seibert (D), Keith Magnuson (D)

A nine-time NHL All-Star, Earl Seibert played for the Blackhawks from 1935 through 1945, and in 398 regular season games put up 191 points.

While posting just 139 points in 589 career games with the Blackhawks, Keith Magnuson was the enforcer for the Blackhawks extremely successful defense in the 1970s, making two Stanley Cup Finals appearances in 1971 and 1973. Magnuson remains a fan favorite in Chicago and his 1440 penalty minutes ranks second in franchise history.

4th Line

Eddie Olczyk (C), Marian Hossa (W), Doug Bentley (W)

Eddie Olcyzk took to the ice in his NHL rookie season as an 18-year-old with his hometown Chicago Blackhawks in 1984-85. After five seasons with the Blackhawks (1984-87; 1998-2000) he tallied 209 points – 77 goals, 132 assists in 322 games.

Marian Hossa has three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. (David Sandford/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

As an integral part of the unit that brought three rings to Chicago, Marian Hossa’s presence on the ice and leadership were evident in his eight years as with the Blackhawks. A lock for the Hall of Fame, Hossa appeared in the playoffs in 17 of his 19 seasons on the ice over his career.

The lesser famous of the Bentley brothers, Doug Bentley actually spent more time in Chicago than his brother, Max. A four-time All-Star, Bentley played for the Blackhawks from 1939 through 1952 and in 546 regular season games tallied 531 points, including 217 goals.


Tony Esposito

Tony Esposito
BOSTON, MA – 1970’s: Tony Esposito #35 of the Chicago Black Hawks tends goal in game against the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden Garden. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Winner of three Vezina Trophies (back when it was awarded on statistics), Tony Esposito has earned the honor more than any other Blackhawks goalie. Tony ‘O’ is currently the franchise leader in wins, shutouts, games played and goaltending point shares, and to this day is still the standard for all Blackhawks goalies.

Ed Belfour

Ed Belfour is the only Chicago Blackhawks goaltender to win a Vezina Trophy in its voting era, and did so twice in 1990-91 and 1992-93. Belfour was in net for the 1990-91 Presidents’ Trophy winning team and his 201 wins ranks fourth in franchise history.

Glenn Hall

Ranking second in franchise history in 276 wins, 17,230 saves and 51 shutouts, Glenn Hall also has a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks to his credit, as well as two Vezina Trophies

Today’s Candidates

Alright, so if you’ve read this far you’re pretty well “in the know” so let’s not waste time. There are some obvious choices on this season’s roster; Jonathan Toews (2nd Line), Patrick Kane (1st Line), Duncan Keith (1st Line) and Corey Crawford (2nd line). All should pretty much be considered consensus picks for our All-Time Team, so there is no need going into detail as to why.

Patrick Kane Jonathan Toews Blackhawks
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But, there are others due some consideration.

Brent Seabrook (3rd Line?)

Brent Seabrook
Brent Seabrook (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Also a three-time Stanley Cup winner, Brent Seabrook has had a hand in all of the recent Blackhawks playoff runs. In all, Seabrook has 20 goals and 39 assists for 59 points in 123 playoff games. He also has three game-winning goals among those, and all have come in overtime.

Alex DeBrincat (It’s Early Yet?)

As a rookie, Alex DeBrincat tallied 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists), played in all 82 games and set a Blackhawks rookie record with most hat tricks in a season with three. He followed it up with scoring 41 goals last season, which was tied for sixth-most in the league and three behind Kane.

If the Blackhawks can make sure DeBrincat continues to call the United Center home — and he keeps up this pace — he can definitely be due some consideration here. 

Dylan Strome (Let’s All Hope!)

Since coming to Chicago in a mid-season trade last year, Dylan Strome and DeBrincat have rekindled their chemistry from the days they played together as juniors for the Erie Otters. Strome posted big numbers during last season with 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points in only 59 games with the Blackhawks. If the front office can keep the duo together, there is plenty to be excited about here.

Related:Blackhawks’ Future Needs Strome in It

Niklas Hjalmarsson (No Longer on Team, but Has to Be in the List!)

Niklas Hjalmarsson was a fixture on the Chicago blue line since the rebuild began in the mid-2000s and had a heavy hand in all three of the Blackhawks recent Stanley Cup runs.

After making his debut in 2008 with the Blackhawks, Hjalmarsson logged 623 games in a Blackhawks uniform and had established himself as “one of the toughest competitors in franchise history,” according to general manager Stan Bowman.

In Conclusion…..

So there you have it. 

As always, who belongs and who doesn’t, along with where they fit is always up for discussion, so feel free to comment and offer your opinions — have some fun.