Blackhawks

This shirt may help Blackhawks fans bypass Lightning dress code policy

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This shirt may help Blackhawks fans bypass Lightning dress code policy

If you're going to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final in Tampa Bay, there might be a way to bypass that silly dress code policy the Lightning have.

You know, the rule where the Lightning won't allow fans in the Chase Club and Lexus Lounge section to wear visiting team apparel or they'll kick you out.

But don't worry, Blackhawks fans, this shirt should have you covered:

(Photo courtesy of VSA Partners)

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The shirts, designed by VSA senior designer Steev Szafranski, have taken the company by storm. With hundreds of requests, Morgan Waller, VSA's director of communications and PR, says they're just enjoying it.

“We are poking fun at it. We want it to be lighthearted and fun, but also very obviously (point out) how ridiculous this is,” Waller told Crain's Chicago Business. “It's turning into a bigger deal.”

The shirt is being sold at Strange Cargo at 3448 N. Clark St. in Wrigleyville for $22.

It's probably worth the pit stop.

Report: Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery identified as victim in early morning drowning

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AP

Report: Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery identified as victim in early morning drowning

Some sad news is being reported out of Hamilton, Ontario.

Former Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was identified as the victim in an early morning drowning at the Hamilton Harbour, according to photojournalist Andrew Collins. 

"They went out for a swim and unfortunately he did not emerge after diving in," Insp. Marty Schulenberg told the Hamilton Spectator before Emery was reportedly identified. "We responded along with Hamilton Fire and EMS. Unfortunately, our efforts on the water and in the area just around the piers were met with negative results."

Emery played in the NHL for 10 seasons, two of which came with the Blackhawks from 2011-13.

On April 2013, Emery and Corey Crawford won the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender who allows the fewest goals in the season.

Emery finished the 2012-13 Stanley Cup-winning campaign with a 17-1 record, 1.94 GAA, and .922 save percentage.

Thank you, Marian Hossa: An ode to one of the best Blackhawks ever

Thank you, Marian Hossa: An ode to one of the best Blackhawks ever

When the Blackhawks drafted Jonathan Toews third overall in 2006 and Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick the following year, it was a sign that the dark skies were clearing in Chicago. Things really started to change when Rocky Wirtz took over as chairman following the death of his father Bill in September of 2007, and one of the first decisions he made was to televise all 82 games.

The fans were coming back.

For only the second time in 11 years, the Blackhawks finished above .500 in 2007-08 but missed the playoffs by three points, a season in which Kane won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

The following year Joel Quenneville took over as head coach after only three games to provide some coaching experience behind the bench for a young team on the rise. It resulted in a 104-point season and ended in a Conference Finals berth at the hands of the arch-rival Detroit Red Wings in five games.

The Blackhawks were ready to make that step into championship contenders. They just needed someone to put them over the edge.

Enter Marian Hossa.

On July 1 of 2009, he committed to the Blackhawks for 12 years worth $62.8 million. He bought into the long-term vision and wanted to be a part of something special for many years to come.

Was he ever.

In his first game as a member of the Blackhawks, Hossa scored two goals in a 7-2 road victory against San Jose after missing the first month and a half of the season with a shoulder injury. It was at that moment where you saw what kind of powerhouse the Blackhawks could be and would become with a full lineup and future Hall of Fame winger added to a mixture of franchise-changing players scratching the surface.

Fast forward to Game 5 of the 2010 quarterfinals. You know how it goes. Series is tied 2-2. The Blackhawks trail 4-3 late in the third period. Extra attacker is on. How many times have we seen this? The Blackhawks were surely going to find a way to tie it up ... and then Hossa is sent to the box with 1:03 to play in regulation. A five-minute major boarding penalty.

Dagger...

Not so fast. 

Patrick Kane went on to score arguably the biggest goal in Blackhawks history, a shorthanded one that evened it up with 13.6 seconds to go. United Center is up for grabs. But there are still four minutes left to kill off on the penalty once overtime starts, which Hossa once called "the longest four minutes of my life." 

In a span of nine seconds following the penalty kill, Hossa jumped on the ice from the box, darted straight for the net and buried home what was the second-biggest goal in franchise history to put the Blackhawks up 3-2 in the series. Two nights later Hossa assisted on three goals and the Blackhawks eliminated the Nashville Predators in their barn.

The rest is history.

Who knows if the Blackhawks rally to win that series if they don't tie it up or win it in overtime. Who knows if they break through the next year. Who knows if that core group even remains together. The course of the franchise could've changed that night.

Instead, Hossa was handed the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career on June 9, 2010 from Jonathan Toews, who couldn't give it to him fast enough after he came up on the losing end in consecutive appearances with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and 2009.

Hossa would add two more titles to his résumé with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, which almost certainly locked up his legacy as one of the all-time greats and his eventual next stop: The Hockey Hall of Fame. The wait was worth it.

"I was hoping to get one coming to Chicago and now I’ve got three," Hossa said following the 2015 Stanley Cup win. "What a feeling." 

The Blackhawks don't win three Stanley Cups without Hossa, who will go down as arguably the greatest free-agent signing in Chicago sports history.

On behalf of the city of Chicago: Thank you, 81.