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Wednesday, October 28

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Blackhawks Wed Dec 03 2008

Root, root root for the...Blackhawks?

With less than a month til the Winter Classic at Wrigley, NBC has started to build the hype with this ad featuring the Blackhawks Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane, along with a familiar voice.

Have to say, kudos. A great a/v mixture that merges the tradition of Wrigley with the historic event Jan 1., featuring two of the NHL's most storied franchises. The spot definitely gets me a little more excited for the game.

On the ice, the Hawks return home to the United Center after a 6-game circus trip. While starting the trip 3-0, the offense disappeared and the team went 0-2-1 in the final trio of contests. After losing a tight OT game to powerhouse San Jose (and losing goalie Nicolai Khabibulin to injury in the process), the team battled the Anaheim Ducks in a nail-biting 1-0 loss, before a disheartening 5-2 loss to the L.A. Kings ended the trip on a sour note.

The Ducks are back in town for a rematch tonight, where before the game the Blackhawks will honor right-winger Steve Larmer as part of the team's "Heritage Night" series this season. Larmer was a fixture for the Hawks throughout the '80s and early '90s, scoring 923 points in 891 career games in Chicago. Upon his first full year with the Hawks in 1982 he played in 884 consecutive games wearing the Indianhead sweater, an NHL record for most consecutive games with a single franchise.
The streak was broken in 1993 when Larmer missed the start of the season after a trade request, which saw him sent to the N.Y. Rangers, where he won a Stanley Cup in 1994 before retiring during the 94-95 lockout.

Larmer epitomized a lot of what the Hawks were to me growing up in the 1980s, pairing with Al Secord and Denis Savard in a talented line that mixed scoring prowess and grit, and is one of the best right-wingers to ever play in Chicago. Tonight's Heritage Night is a well deserved accolade, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Larmer's #28 raised to the rafters at some point in the future.

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