Blackhawks

Vince Vaughn picks up check for Lightning's Jon Cooper: 'This is Chicago, my town. This is how we treat people'

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Vince Vaughn picks up check for Lightning's Jon Cooper: 'This is Chicago, my town. This is how we treat people'

Jon Cooper is living the life in Chicago. Heck, he may never want to leave.

For the second time this week, the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach went to Chicago Cut Steakhouse with a party of 20 and again got a free meal for his entire group.

Charles Barkley picked up the check the first time and movie star Vince Vaughn - a noted Blackhawks fan - had the honor Tuesday night.

Cooper and Vaughn are apparently old friends and the actor stopped to hug Cooper and chat with the Lightning coach for about 10 minutes upon arriving at Chicago Cut.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]

After Barkley's kindness a couple days earlier, Cooper wanted to repay the favor for Vaughn, but the celeb wouldn't let that fly, according to Chicago Cut managing partner David Flom, who recapped the ordeal to the Chicago Tribune:


“Cooper called me over to his table and said ‘Hey, I want to pick up Vince Vaughn’s check,’” Flom said. “He was doing it to be kind because of the Barkley thing. I tell the server and then walk by Vince’s table. Sure enough, Vince looks at me and says ‘I know that guy just called you over to pick up my check. That’s not how we roll in Chicago.’ He goes ‘This is Chicago, my town. This is how we treat people. I got his check.’ How can you argue with Vince Vaughn? I said, ‘OK, no problem.’ I go walk away and he stands up and says ‘I got his check. This is Chicago.’


“So we go over to Cooper and he goes ‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Twice with 20 people and I haven’t paid once.’”

 

Cooper apparently a big Vaughn fan, as he's been noted as quoting "Wedding Crashers" in speeches to the Lightning - such as "No excuses, play like a champion (Rule No. 76)."

What a classy move from Vaughn to represent Chicago in the best way possible. Cooper has his team up 2-1 over the Blackhawks after Monday's win in the United Center and yet he's still getting treated like royalty in town.

This is Jon Cooper's world, you guys. We're just living in it.

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.”