The Chicago Blackhawks are a major part of NHL history. This storied franchise dates back to 1926, when the NHL awarded Major Frederic McLaughlin a franchise. To get enough players to field a team, he purchased the Portland Rosebuds from the struggling Western Hockey League and moved them to Chicago.
Becoming the Blackhawks
McLaughlin wasn’t fond of the team name “Rosebuds,” so he focused his energy on a new nickname for his hockey club. He soon found inspiration from history.
McLaughlin served in the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Division of the U.S. Army during World War I, and he remembered that he and his crew were nicknamed the “Black Hawks” to honor a Sauk Indian chief who sided with the British during the War of 1812. He decided that it would make a terrific name for an NHL team. The Blackhawks were born.
The Blackhawks have been around for nine decades and have had their fair share of ups and downs. However, their ups have been great – they have made 13 appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals and taken home the hardware six times. Two of those appearances came early on, in 1934 and 1938, which were followed by one championship in 1961. In recent years, they’ve brought the cup home three times – 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Legends on the Ice
The Blackhawks have also had their share of historical players as well. Bobby Hull, a 12-time All-Star, took to the ice for the Blackhawks from 1957 to 1972 and scored the most goals in the NHL multiple times. Stan Mikita, another Hall of Famer, played for the Blackhawks for his entire illustrious career, and he remains 14th on the list of all-time points leaders in the NHL. Tony Esposito is another Blackhawk from the same era; he played for Chicago for all but one season of his long career. Jeremy Roenick started his career with the Blackhawks (retiring in 2009), and Chris Chelios played for the Hawks for almost nine full seasons. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both currently hit the ice for the Blackhawks – making appearances in seven combined All-Star games and are three-time champions.
Over the 90 or so years the Blackhawks have been around, their uniforms have gone through some drastic changes. Check them out!
1926: When the Blackhawks first take to the ice, they don white jerseys with black stripes.
1928: Their uniforms are reversed in 1927 and remain white-on-black through the early ’30s.
1934: In 1934, they ditch their thin stripes and add red to their jerseys for the first time.
1936: In the mid-1930s, they add tan in place of the white for a new tricolor look.
1938: In the late ’30s, tan is out; the stripes become thinner and multiply a bit.
1951: The ’40s see the addition of a white alternate jersey. By 1951, the team changes the striped pattern.
1961: In the mid-1950s, the jersey styles change once again to a pattern that is recognizable today – a red background with stripes on the sleeves and around the waist. In 1961, a small change is made where the sleeve numbers on the red jerseys stop overlapping the stripes.
1973: In 1973, the numbers on the red jerseys (as well as the white) get a border.
2007: When the Reebok Edge uniform system comes into play, the Blackhawks uniforms stay much the same while getting a material upgrade.
Are you a Blackhawks fan for life? Are you looking for the perfect jersey to wear at the next Blackhawks game? If so, Fanatics.com is the place to go.