Blackhawks Best All-Canadian Starting Lineup

While other nations are certainly starting to catch up with their representation throughout the NHL, fans all over the world can surely agree that Canada still dominates in that respect. In fact, over 5,200 Canadians (and counting) have played in this league. So it should come as no surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks’ storied history includes a number of greats born north of the border.

Chicago Blackhawks Best All-Canadian Starting Lineup Jonathan Toews, Pierre Pilote, Tony Esposito.

This is a celebration of the best athletes at each position, scattered throughout the organization’s nearly 100 years of existence, who have had the greatest all-around impact on the team while simultaneously achieving at elite levels in their own regard.

Although it’s not just about points or shutouts, the highlighted stats for each respective player are from their time with the Blackhawks only. That’s not to diminish what they may have accomplished elsewhere, but the focus here is on what they did while in Chicago.

With that in mind, these are the Canadians that stand out among the rest and all the reasons why.

C Jonathan Toews

Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jonathan Toews has proven to be an irreplaceable leader ever since being named the Blackhawks’ youngest captain in franchise history. Thrust into that spotlight at 20 years old, prior to the start of the 2008-09 season, it didn’t take long before Toews was front and centre throughout the most successful run of Blackhawks hockey ever. What’s more, is there’s time ahead of him to still achieve.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

Standard Stats

  • Games Played: 943
  • Goals: 345
  • Assists: 470
  • Points: 815
  • Plus/Minus: Plus-193

Resume Builders

  • Faceoff Percentage: 56.9
  • Power Play Points: 210
  • Shorthanded Points: 31
  • Game-Winning Goals: 66

Awards & Accolades

  • 2007-08 All-Rookie Team
  • 2010 Stanley Cup
  • 2010 Conn Smyth Trophy
  • 2013 Stanley Cup
  • 2013 Frank J. Selke Trophy
  • 2015 Stanley Cup
  • 2015 Mark Messier Leadership Award

RW Steve Larmer

Birthplace: Peterborough, Ontario

To this day, decades after his last game, fans still campaign for Steve Larmer to get the respect he’s due for his contributions in Chicago. Despite his only Stanley Cup victory having come while wearing a New York Rangers sweater, that doesn’t overshadow what he accomplished during his 13 years with the Blackhawks. At the very least, his number deserves to be lifted to Chicago’s rafters.

Steve Larmer, Chicago Blackhawks
Steve Larmer, Chicago Blackhawks (THW Archives)

Standard Stats

  • Games Played: 891
  • Goals: 406
  • Assists: 517
  • Points: 923
  • Plus/Minus: Plus-181

Resume Builders

  • Shooting Percentage: 16.0
  • Power Play Points: 339
  • Shorthanded Points: 48
  • Game-Winning Goals: 49

Awards & Accolades

  • 1982-83 All-Rooke Team
  • 1983 Calder Memorial Trophy

LW Bobby Hull

Birthplace: Point Anne, Ontario

Chicago has had a lot of prolific scorers over the years. Yet, none have come close to accumulating the numbers that Bobby Hull was able to as a Blackhawk. Beyond sitting atop their all-time goal totals list, Hull holds a number of team records that prove his prowess. Including most goals in a season, hat tricks, and game-winners, to name a few. No wonder he’s a 12-time All-Star.

Bobby Hull, Chicago Blackhawks
Bobby Hull, Chicago Blackhawks (THW Archives)

Standard Stats

  • Games Played: 1,036
  • Goals: 604
  • Assists: 549
  • Points: 1,153
  • Plus/Minus: Plus-259

Resume Builders

  • Shooting Percentage: 12.6
  • Power Play Points: 318
  • Shorthanded Points: 29
  • Game-Winning Goals: 98

Awards & Accolades

  • 1960 Art Ross Trophy
  • 1961 Stanley Cup
  • 1962 Art Ross Trophy
  • 1965 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
  • 1965 Hart Memorial Trophy
  • 1966 Hart Memorial Trophy
  • 1966 Art Ross Trophy
  • 1983 Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Blackhawks Retired Number (9)

RD Brent Seabrook

Birthplace: Richmond, British Columbia

Brent Seabrook has been the epitome of what it means to show up when it matters most. An offensive force on Chicago’s blue line, he has been part of scoring some of their biggest postseason goals ever. Seabrook’s greatness has often been overshadowed by others who come and go, while he maintained a consistent impact all the while. He’s the type of leader every team would welcome.

Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks
Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

Standard Stats

  • Games Played: 1,114
  • Goals: 103
  • Assists: 361
  • Points: 464
  • Plus/Minus: Plus-111

Resume Builders

  • Average Time on Ice: 21:56
  • Blocked Shots: 1,998
  • Hits: 2,137
  • Special Teams Points: 171

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 Stanley Cup
  • 2013 Stanley Cup
  • 2015 Stanley Cup

LD Pierre Pilote

Birthplace: Kenogami, Quebec

This is less a knock on the illustrious career that Duncan Keith continues to string together and more so recognition for a legend that paved the way. Pierre Pilot captained the Blackhawks for seven seasons, which is tied for second-most in franchise history. He was an impossible force to ignore, resulting in eight consecutive All-Star Game appearances between 1959-60 to 1966-67.

Pierre Pilote, Chicago Blackhawks
Pierre Pilote, Chicago Blackhawks (THW Archives)

Standard Stats

  • Games Played: 821
  • Goals: 77
  • Assists: 400
  • Points: 477
  • Plus/Minus: Plus-182

Resume Bulders

  • Penalty Minutes: 1,211
  • Power Play Points: 165
  • Shorthanded Points: 10
  • Game-Winning Points: 71

Awards & Accolades

  • 1961 Stanley Cup
  • 1963 James Norris Memorial Trophy
  • 1964 James Norris Memorial Trophy
  • 1965 James Norris Memorial Trophy
  • 1975 Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Blackhawks Retired Number (3)

G Tony Esposito

Birthplace: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Having enjoyed what was arguably one of the best goaltending careers to not include a Stanley Cup, Tony Esposito deserves all the recognition in the world for what he accomplished as a Blackhawk. Esposito’s record-setting rookie campaign was just the start of what he’d achieve throughout his 15 seasons in Chicago. His numbers now do all the talking for him.

Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks
Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Standard Stats

  • Games Played: 873
  • Wins: 418
  • Goals-Against Average: 2.93
  • Save Percentage: .906
  • Shutouts: 74

Resume Builders

  • Saves: 24,376
  • Minutes: 51,734
  • Assists: 25
  • Penalty Minutes: 31

Awards & Accolades

  • 1970 Calder Memorial Trophy
  • 1970 Vezina Trophy
  • 1972 Vezina Trophy
  • 1974 Vezina Trophy
  • 1988 Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Blackhawks Retired Number (35)

Past, Present, Future

Although the origins of hockey have been debated for some time, Canada’s influence in helping to propel the game into what it’s become today is indisputable. It is one of the country’s national sports, after all.

While the Blackhawks have already benefited from their talented neighbours to the north throughout their past, the future remains bright for those working towards taking over a spot within this all-time lineup.

You don’t have to look much further than Chicago’s current roster to pinpoint a number of Canadian all-stars in the making. Specifically at centre, as Kirby Dach continues his rise to fame with this franchise. Could he, one day, surpass the living legacy that Toews has created? We’ll soon find out.

REALTED – Blackhawks Talent Shined Bright at IIHF World Championship

In the meantime, let’s share a collective tip of the cap to all the Canadians who have woven their way through the fabric of this franchise, helping establish it as one of the most successful in NHL history.

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