Denis Savard

Start of the Blackhawks Dynasty, Part 3: Denis Savard out, Joel Quenneville in

Start of the Blackhawks Dynasty, Part 3: Denis Savard out, Joel Quenneville in

In a 10-part series, we look back at the 10-year anniversary of the 2008-09 season, the start of the Blackhawks dynasty.

With Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews having established themselves as two of the game's rising superstars during their rookie year, it was clear the Blackhawks were ready to take the next step into playoff contention. But after starting the 2008-09 season with a 1-2-1 record, the Blackhawks made a change behind the bench.

Joel Quenneville was promoted to head coach one month after being hired as a Chicago pro scout and Denis Savard was relieved of his duties in an effort to bring in a more experienced voice to lead the charge.

"We've got an extremely entertaining, exciting team with great youth and great prospects for success," Quenneville said at his introductory press conference in October of 2008. "I'm looking forward to fulfilling all our objectives of being a top team and winning hockey games, and getting to the playoffs and going from there."

The Blackhawks went on to snap a five-year playoff drought and finished the season with 104 points, their highest point total in 15 years, and reached the Conference Finals before falling to the Detroit Red Wings in five games.

While it may have been difficult to part ways with one of the Blackhawks' all-time greatest players, it turned out to be one of the best decisions the franchise has ever made with Quenneville coaching the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups in six years and Savard being a part of the ride as well after he was brought back on as a team ambassador.

Quenneville has compiled a 446-243-93 record in 782 games for a win percentage of .630, along with 128 playoff wins, in 10 seasons with the Blackhawks. He also moved into second on the all-time wins list with 884, trailing only Scotty Bowman (1,244).

Eddie Olczyk, Bobby Hull, Jeremy Roenick highlight former players at 2018 Blackhawks Convention

Eddie Olczyk, Bobby Hull, Jeremy Roenick highlight former players at 2018 Blackhawks Convention

The Blackhawks will host a sizable group of alumni at the 11th annual Blackhawks Convention this weekend at the Hilton Chicago.

Eddie Olczyk, Bobby and Dennis Hull, Jeremy Roenick, Denis Savard and Chris Chelios are some of the former players highlighting the event, starting on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. on NBC Chicago’s “Blackhawks Convention Opening Ceremonies.”

Blackhawks broadcaster Olczyk, who was diagnosed with colon cancer last year, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cubs game Tuesday night in anticipation of the convention. The 1994 Stanley Cup winner announced he was cancer-free in March, making his appearance even more special.

Roenick, a Blackhawks all-time top 10 goal scorer (267) and points leader (596), will take part in the weekend for the first time.

“I think early that maybe the relationship wasn’t strong enough,” Roenick said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “… And I think going to the convention is so important to the city and so important to the franchise in terms of what they do for people in the city.”

Chelios will be introduced as the newest team ambassador this weekend. The Blackhawks announced Monday morning that the Hall of Fame defenseman is once again a member of the organization.

“To be able to join the Blackhawks organization in this role means everything to me,” Chelios said about his new position. “… Chicago is my hometown and returning to this organization is very special to me and my family.”

The list of past Blackhawks players who will also be present includes Bryan Bickell, Adam Burish, Brian Campbell, Eric Daze, Ben Eager, Tony Esposito, Colin Fraser, Stu Grimson, Steve Larmer, Jamal Mayers, Troy Murray, Bernie Nicholls, Phil Russell and Patrick Sharp.

John Scott, the controversial NHL All-Star who had only registered one point with the Arizona Coyotes leading up to his fan vote selection during the 2015-16 season, will also be a fun player in attendance. He only notched two points in 69 games with Chicago.

The present players and staff members attending the gathering feature Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith and head coach Joel Quenneville, among others.

According to the Blackhawks, fans can interact with these ex-members, current players, coaches and team executives through activities like autograph and photo sessions.

Blackhawks convention attendees announced, including captain Jonathan Toews

Blackhawks convention attendees announced, including captain Jonathan Toews

It was a disappointing season to say the least for the Blackhawks this past year, as nine straight playoff appearances came to an end. But the Hawks and Hawks fans alike are beginning their countdown to a new season. And a big moment will come the last weekend of July.

The Blackhawks Twitter page announced all the attendees for their annual Blackhawks Convention; the list includes captain Jonathan Toews.

The convention is being held at the Hilton Chicago July 27-29, and it will not only include Toews but several current players, alumni, coaches and broadcasters.

The weekend will include numerous autograph and photo sessions, Q&A panels, exhibits, interactive games and much more.

Some current players attending are: Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith, Alex DeBrincat, Nick Schmaltz and Artem Anisimov.

The alumni list includes: Bryan Bickell, Adam Burish, Brian Campbell, Ben Eager, Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Denis Savard and many others.

The legendary voices of the Blackhawks, TV play-by-play man Pat Foley and radio announcer John Wiedeman will also be in attendance.

The season is still a couple months away for the Blackhawks, whose home opener is Oct. 7 against Toronto. They start the campaign with two games on the road, with Ottawa first in line (Oct. 4), then the St. Louis Blues (Oct. 6).