Blackhawks

Roenick wants No. 27 retired by Blackhawks

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Roenick wants No. 27 retired by Blackhawks

GLENDALE, Ariz. Jeremy Roenick took it all in with pride, a humbling moment for a guy who admits hes hard to humble. But for Roenick, seeing his No. 97 listed among the Phoenix Coyotes Ring of Honor was truly a special moment.

And it would mean just as much to him if the Chicago Blackhawks also retired his number.

Roenick, who was drafted and spent his first eight NHL seasons with the Blackhawks would love to see his No. 27 hanging from the United Center rafters. While Roenick lives in the Phoenix area and could be involved in a potential purchase of the Coyotes, Chicago will also be dear to him.

They just drag their feet a little bit slower than these guys, Roenick joked prior to his Ring of Honor ceremony on Saturday night. Without question thats a huge goal of mine, to (have my number) retired in Chicago. Its the best honor as an athlete, with exception of the Hall of Fame. Its the best thing that you can have bestowed upon you.

Just based on the numbers, Roenicks certainly earned it. He tallied back-to-back, 50-goal seasons in 1991-92 and 1992-93 and had three consecutive 100-plus point seasons from 1991 to 1994.

The Blackhawks were on the bench during Roenicks pregame ceremony, something he appreciated greatly.

Both teams are special to me, no question, he said. Twenty-three years ago I was 155 pounds coming out of high school, it was unheard of for a team to draft anyone out of high school and Chicago took a chance on me. Theyll forever be in my heart. To be so passionate about one city and then be traded to another and feeling that same passion (for it), thats a special thing.

And as far as his former teams current struggles?

I think they gotta get their ass going, Roenick said. Every team goes through that. Theyre a strong team, they have a great coach. Theyll be all right.

Roenick will get his moment with the Blackhawks some day. His years and numbers with them have earned him that. Hell enjoy that chance when it comes. But on Saturday, it was about the team that retired his number first.

I think we have a good enough relationship after 20 years that well get there, Roenick said. But tonight its about Phoenix and how I appreciate being here and how much I love being here.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”