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The Landlubber’s Guide to the Chicago Blackhawks

A few things to know about tonight’s Kraken opponent

NHL: JAN 25 All-Star Game

Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

Let’s dive into the Chicago Blackhawks.

Are they any good?

On the ice? No.

The team has only won four of the 15 games so far this season. The Arizona Coyotes are the only team in the NHL with fewer wins than the Chicago Blackhawks (though one of Arizona’s two wins were against the Kraken so hopefully the squids have improved since then).

The Chicago Blackhawks fired their head coach 12 games into the season so it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for the Blackhawks this season.

Off the ice...? Things are complicated.

The Blackhawks are now dealing with the consequences of the the team’s actions in regards to Brad Aldrich, former NHL video coach and current convicted sex offender. During the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Blackhawks leadership turned a blind eye when a minor-league affiliate player, who we now know is Kyle Beach, accused Aldrich of sexual assault.

Aldrich was allowed to leave the Blackhawks, after his name was engraved on the Stanley Cup, and went on to sexually assault a teenager (known only as John Doe 2) in 2013 while coaching a high school hockey team.

The Blackhawks have recently let go of longtime executive Stan Bowman and the NHL fined the team $2 million dollars, which some consider to be lenient compared to other fines and punishments the NHL has enacted previously.

Make sure to follow Rick Westhead and Katie Strang who do important work reporting and uncovering abuses in the hockey world.

Who should I look out for?

Jonathan Toews (#19, Center) and Patrick Kane (#88, Right Wing) - These two are Chicago Blackhawk mainstays since 2006/2007 and make up the leadership core of the team. These top-line forwards are very good at hockey.

Marc-Andre Fleury (#29, Goalie) - Marc-Andre Fleury (also known as “Flower”) was traded to the Blackhawks in the offseason and is the purest cinnamon roll the NHL has right now. He’s won three Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was the franchise star for the Vegas Golden Knights when they made their big debut. He’s also a notorious prankster. TLDR; he’s one of the most skilled and beloved players in the league.

Alex DeBrincat (#12, Left Wing) - A consistent offensive producer (56 points in 52 games last season) and a young up-and-coming star player for the Blackhawks.

Any Seattle ties?

  • Jujhar Khaira (#16, Left Wing) - Khaira played the 2013-2014 season with the Everett Silvertips before debuting for the Edmonton Oiler’s AHL affiliate. He played six season in Edmonton before signing a two-year deal with the Blackhawks over the summer.
  • Defenders Caleb & Seth Jones (yes, they’re brothers) played for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, wearing essentially the same uniforms they wear in Chicago now. Portland changed their logo this offseason to something that’s quite frankly way cooler.

Odds & Ends

  • The Blackhawks are an Original Six team, meaning they were one of six teams involved in the NHL’s origin story. The team was originally founded in 1926, so there’s a long history and culture of tradition associated with the Blackhawks.
  • This concept design is a much cooler version of the Blackhawks logo, in this blogger’s opinion.
  • Seattle’s expansion selection from Chicago was forward John Quenneville, a pending free agent whom the team chose not to sign and now plays in the Swiss National League.
  • Remember how they fired their coach already? It was probably because he wasn’t actually doing know, coaching.

Tonight’s game starts at 7pm PST at Climate Pledge Arena. The game will be broadcast on television on TNT and on the radio on 950 KJR.