Blackhawks

Which Chicago Blackhawk is next up for the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Which Chicago Blackhawk is next up for the Hockey Hall of Fame?

In the midst of their multiple Stanley Cup runs over the past decade, there was never a doubt that a handful of players from the Blackhawks' golden age would make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame one day.

On Wednesday, Marian Hossa became the first of the group, while still under contract for another year with the Arizona Coyotes. His 525 career NHL goals rank 35th in league history, not to mention his 1,134 points, many of which came during his eight years with the Hawks.

So now that Hossa's in, who's next from Chicago? 

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Former Hawks defenseman Doug Wilson finally got in, along with Hossa, on Wednesday after waiting 24 years. The long overdue honor provides hope that legendary Hawks forward Steve Larmer, who finished his career in 1995 with the Rangers, still has a chance. 

Larmer surpassed being a point-a-game player with 1,012 in 1,006 games. He spent the first 13 years of a 15-year career with Chicago. 

There's also a strong case for Jeremy Roenick, who had 1,216 points — including 513 goals — in 1,363 NHL games and spent the first eight years of his career with the Blackhawks.

Related: Ex-Blackhawks react to 'all business' Marian Hossa's election to the Hall of Fame

Three current Hawks in Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith will be shoo-ins for the Hall, possibly each upon their first ballots like Hossa. Any of them could be next in line based on when they choose to retire if Larmer is kept waiting.

"I think the next Hawk will be Kane or Toews. I think those two guys are first ballot and as soon as they're up they'll get in," former Blackhawk and 2016 All-Star MVP John Scott said Wednesday over the phone. "I think Larmer will get in before (Jeremy) Roenick. But I don't know, I think the next one will be Tazer when he retires. He'll be the next Hawk, that's my prediction."

Related: Why former Blackhawk John Scott used Marian Hossa as a comedy barometer

Kane, Toews and Keith have played their entire careers in Chicago. Kane, 31, has the obvious advantage in points with 1,022 in 973 games to Toews, 32, and his 815 in 943 contests. Both obviously have three Cups, Toews takes the edge in Olympic hardware and leadership, although Kane has come on strong in that department the last few years. 

If Scott is banking on Toews retiring before Kane he could be right. Like Kane, Toews' first season with the Hawks was 2007-'08.

Duncan Keith's first season with the Blackhawks was '05-'06. Although the two-time Norris trophy winner with three Cups and two Olympic gold medals continues to eat up big minutes and be a threat on the blueline at age 36, he's the most likely of the core trio to retire first.

It's hard to imagine a legendary Hawk will get the call two years in a row. If Larmer is made to wait several more, Keith could sneak in in front of him on a well-deserved first ballot.

Our money's on Duncan.

Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner remains unbeaten with Vegas Golden Knights

Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner remains unbeaten with Vegas Golden Knights

On Thursday in Game 2, the Blackhawks tested Robin Lehner more than they did in Game 1 of the first round Stanley Cup Playoff series, when he only had to save 19 of 20 shots.

The Hawks were able to put 25 pucks on the Golden Knights' net, with three getting past Lehner to take the game to overtime where Vegas would triumph to take a 2-0 series lead.

"It was a little bit of a weird game," Lehner said following his Game 2 win. "There was not that much to do and I thought they had some good chances. I thought that Chicago played really well. Everyone keeps saying they're (the) underdog, but you look at their team: the experience, the skill... it's Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane out there. It's a lot of skill and they're world class players, so when they get opportunities it's hard. I got to look at the tape, I think I can be a little bit better, but a win's a win."

Related: Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner's birthday cake is ureal

With the victory, Lehner remains unbeaten in the 2020 postseason (4-0) and unbeaten as a Golden Knight. 

The 29-year-old netminder went 3-0-0 with 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage with the Knights during the regular season ahead of the NHL Pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12. 

Related: Robin Lehner opens up on getting traded by Blackhawks

Lehner was traded from Chicago to Vegas ahead of Feb. 24's trade deadline. He was 16-10-5 as a Hawk this season with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage prior to the move.

Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champ with the Pittsburgh Penguins, may have lost the starter job to Lehner, at least for now. Fleury was only in net for one Golden Knights' round-robin game, with Lehner starting the rest of the postseason contests so far.

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Patrick Kane passes Bobby Hull for third place in Blackhawks' all-time playoff points

Patrick Kane passes Bobby Hull for third place in Blackhawks' all-time playoff points

On Thursday, Patrick Kane made even more history to cement himself among top all-time legendary Blackhawks in the Hawks' 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2 of the first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

In the second period of Game 2, Kane recorded three points off three assists to pass Bobby Hull (129) for third in most playoff points in Hawks history with 130. Denis Savard is in second with 145 and Stan Mikita is No. 1 with 150.

Related: Blackhawks' Patrick Kane found his postseason game, but is it too late?

"Well, I've been fortunate to play on some amazing teams. And I guess when you have some deep runs in the playoffs, you're going to have the chance to put up numbers and points when you're an offensive guy," a humble Kane said following Thursday's loss. "So I appreciate those teams I've been on, trying to do the same thing here with this team.

"I think we got a good group. I think we proved it all year when we played in tough situations, faced some adversity that we were able to come back, we're able to work our way out of it. This isn't a team that's going to give up and I think we're in a situation here where we're coming into a day off then a back-to-back situation and we feel we got a young team with some fresh legs, so hopefully that can be used to our advantage."

The Hawks take on the Knights in Game 3 Saturday at 7 p.m. and Game 4 Sunday at 5:30 p.m. CT.

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