No one else is close. While Thibs is becoming a silent legend in his ability to keep the Bulls relevant through injury and trades that would have decimated lesser teams, Quenneville has made the Blackhawks one of the NHL’s elite teams that every season has a realistic chance of winning the Cup. He’s already the new Ditka in Chicago—and he already has more championships than Ditka, with more on the way.
Audience Choice: Joel Quenneville
Best of Chicago 2014
Even though this season hasn’t started out like the historic opening they had to jump-start last season’s miracle run for the Cup, the Blackhawks are still the best team in the NHL. Once the “hangover” (despite a great start this season) is over and they come back down to earth (ice), they’ll begin to separate themselves from every other team in the league again. Win it all again. Don’t think so, just ask Sports Illustrated. They’re NEVER wrong.
AUDIENCE CHOICE: Blackhawks
Best of Chicago 2013
That guy working the upper-deck 300 level at the Blackhawks game
“Beer here, beer here!” The game has your temperature rising so it’s time for a cold one. “Beer man, over here.” Before you can bat an eye, this guy’s gouged a hole in the side of the can, flipped the top and poured that baby—ten seconds flat. Damn impressive, but what sets him apart is the dramatic flair of a true performer he brings to his work as he throws his head back as if he’s in a state of personal ecstasy. He’s so good, you order a round for the whole row, just to watch the show. That roar, Hawks score? Oops, missed it.
Best of Chicago 2010
Let’s face it: our laudable Blackhawks roster took quite the beating after we brought home the Cup. Yet, while breaking up is hard to do, it was quite easy to move on with Swedish star Viktor Stalberg, who was signed in June and has been a fierce wingman ever since. In just a few months time, Number 25 has made his mark with two game-winning goals and a number of assists that, should we be able to keep him (ahem, management!), could bring us closer to that coveted dynastic repeat.
Best of Chicago 2010
It’s bad form to rip on the deceased, but let’s just say the passing of Bill Wirtz in fall of 2007 brought more tears of joy than cries of sorrow to Hawks fans’ eyes. The man was disliked, to say the least, and the team’s Stanley Cup drought has for some time seemed the direct result of his unfortunate frugality. (There’s a reason Sports Illustrated named this the worst franchise in sports history.) Bill’s son Rocky took over as chairman, and a new age dawned—the future suddenly became brighter, bright like a television set, maybe even one broadcasting a Hawks home game.
Best of Chicago 2008