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Congress passes resolution to honor Chicago Blackhawks

The sport of hockey has seen a massive jump in popularity over the past season, as evidenced by the support shown the United States in the World Juniors and the Olympics and by the historic jump in ratings in the postseason.

The rise in national attention and popularity is also due to having the Chicago Blackhawks -- an Original Six team with a massive fan base -- as one of the best teams in the NHL all season long and eventually winning the Stanley Cup.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to formally acknowledge and honor the Hawks’ accomplishment this season. Backed by the Illinois representatives, a measure was introduced today by democrat Mike Quigley of Chicago to celebrate the Hawks’ victory.

From Katherine Skiba of the Chicago Tribune:

Quigley pushed the measure in a speech Monday from the House floor, saying the victory on June 9 “set off an extraordinary celebration in Chicago, which for many of us is still going on.”

The vote was nearly unanimously passed, with the measure being passed by a vote of 395-5. Thirty representatives decided not to vote, while the most interesting vote came from one representative who merely said “present”.

Here’s the full resolution, as passed by Congress:

“Congratulating the Chicago Blackhawks on Winning the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship.”

“Whereas the historic Chicago Blackhawks, as one of the ‘Original Six,’ have made countless contributions to sports;

“Whereas the Blackhawks and the National Hockey League have demonstrated a commitment to promoting fitness and leadership skills for youth through support for youth hockey programs and community skating facilities;

“Whereas with 101 straight home game sellouts, and an NHL leading regular-season average attendance of 21,356, the Blackhawks are the pride of their hometown, Chicago, Illinois;

“Whereas in just three years, the Blackhawks organization of Rocky Wirtz, Joel Quenneville, John McDonough, Stan Bowman, Scotty Bowman, Jay Blunk, and Dale Tallon have revitalized a franchise and reminded Chicago that it has always been a hockey town;

“Whereas the Chicago Blackhawks, through amazing offense, superb defense, and unmatched depth, dominated the regular season and won 52 games;

“Whereas the Blackhawks defeated the Nashville Predators in 6 games, the Vancouver Canucks in 6 games, and swept the Number 1 seeded San Jose Sharks to become the Western Conference Champions and advance to the Stanley Cup Final;

“Whereas in the Stanley Cup Final series, the Blackhawks held off the aggressive play and talent of the Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers, who deserve great credit, to win in overtime, and provide one of the most exciting final series in recent history; and

“Whereas the innumerable contributions from every player, coach, and the entire Blackhawks family have ended the 49-year-long championship drought and brought the roar back to Madison Street and Lord Stanley’s Cup to where it belongs, sweet home Chicago: Now, therefore, be it

“Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) recognizes the Chicago Blackhawks for their long distinguished history, countless contributions to sports, and their many successes as a franchise;
(2) congratulates the Blackhawks on an amazing season and for winning the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship;
(3) recognizes the players, coaches, and leadership of the Blackhawks organization; and
(4) joins with all people in the United States and hockey fans all over the world in celebrating the return of the Stanley Cup to Chicago, Illinois.”