Saturday, January 1, 2011
On this date in 2009, the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings in the second NHL Winter Classic at the historic Wrigley Field.
The Black Hawks, two separate words at the time, were founded in 1926, one of three United States based teams added that season along with the Detroit Cougars and New York Rangers, and were named after their original owner Frederic McLaughlin's military unit nicknamed the "Blackhawk Division" which he had been a commander of during World War I.
Their original jerseys were white with black striping and featured a logo which depicted Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk nation who McLaughlin's military division was named after.
Dick Irvin of the 1926-27 expansion Chicago Black Hawks
For the team's second season the colors of their jerseys were reversed to black sweaters with white stripes. This jersey was used from 1927-28 through 1933-34, the season the Black Hawks would win their first Stanley Cup Championship.
Teddy Graham wearing the revised Black Hawks jersey in 1930
The following season the Black Hawks would debut new black sweaters which featured a bold white chest stripe with red trim while continuing use of their black and white logo from the previous jerseys.
This style was short-lived and was replaced midseason by a jersey of the same template, only with tan replacing the white and a new colorized version of their logo.
After just two and a half seasons of use, the black and tan sweaters were replaced by the striking new barberpole jerseys which were adorned with multiple red and white stripes on a black jersey for the 1937-38 season just in time for the club to win it's second Stanley Cup title.
The logo underwent a series of tweaks throughout the life of the barberpole jersey, including this variation used in 1947-48 when the feathers were white with red veins.
After 18 seasons, the barberpole jersey would be retired in favor of what would become the Black Hawks iconic style which is still in use today, with only some evolutionary changes to the secondary logo and main crest, as illustrated by this example from 1963.
1963 Chicago Black Hawks Reg Fleming jersey
Since the introduction of their new set of jerseys in 1955, the only two other jerseys to be used by the team were a revival of the barberpole style for the NHL's 75th anniversary season in 1991-92 and a striking black alternate version of their white jersey used from 1996-97 to 2006-07, and again in 2008-09.
The Blackhawks, who by now had settled on single word version of the team name found in the original franchise documents, had no other need for a new jersey until their 2009 appearance in the second annual NHL Winter Classic, which they hosted at historic Wrigley Field.
In keeping with the throwback spirit of the outdoor contest, the Blackhawks, looked back to the 1935 black and tan jerseys and mated them with the crest from their 1947-48 sweaters to create today's featured jersey, a 2008-09 Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews jersey as worn in the 2009 Winter Classic.
This jersey proved so popular that it was promoted to the team's new alternate jersey beginning with the 2009-10 season, only with the addition of the crossed-tomahawks "C" secondary logos on the shoulders.
Two aspects of this jersey we found particularly appealing was the use of the black on black captain's "C" and assistant captain's "A's" outlined in tan and red and the design of the Winter Classic patch, which did an excellent job of incorporating the Winter Classic wordmark with the iconic Wrigley Field marquee.
Of the now ten throwback jerseys used in the Heritage Classic in 2003 and the four Winter Classic games, taking into account today's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, we consider this to be our favorite of the group.
With the team having only ever used nine jerseys throughout their history to pick from when needing a throwback, we can only wonder how long until their art deco 1927-1934 jerseys are pressed into service once more.
You may have become tired of it having seen it a million times when it first aired, but given two years off, this commercial for the 2009 game now stands the test of time quite well.
Here are highlights of the 2009 Winter Classic from the Frozen Confines of Wrigley Field, featuring today's featured jersey in action.