Saturday, October 4, 2014

Old-Timey Hockey Tales #2

Just in time for the start of a new season hockey fan and illustrator Robert Ullman, is back with his newest edition of Old-Timey Hockey Tales!

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Ullman, who is a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins in particular, creates eye-catching illustrations of pin-up girls wearing nothing but hockey sweaters, stripey socks and sexy smiles describes his work as "Archie Comics gone bad".

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He has begun a tradition of creating battling babes in sweaters to represent his choices in the annual NHL playoffs each spring, which he posts on his blog, Atom-Bomb Bikini.

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Ullman playoff pinups

And these are not just generic hockey-style jerseys either. As a true fan and artist with a keen eye for detail, the jerseys are highly accurate in striping and even the addition of patches. A perfect example is this Minnesota North Stars jersey with the drop shadow on the numbers properly going down and to the right, unlike most of the retail versions of this jersey which we have dubbed, The Most Frequently Screwed Up Jersey of All Time™.

Ullman North Stars

Ullman has also published a number of collections of his work, two of which contain his NHL pin-ups. The first is the all-color hardcover book "Atom-Bomb Bikini: The Lurid Art of Robert Ullman", a 64 page collection of his art featuring girls from a variety of themes, "sporty, super or birthday suited" as he puts it, which includes many of his hockey girls. It its available for just $16.

Ullman Atom-bomb bikini

Atom-bomb bikini sample

Another of his publications of interest to our readers would be Bluelines, a 32 page collection of hockey sweater wearing pinup girls in both color and black and white. It's limited to just 300 signed and numbered copies, so be sure to get yours for a mere $8.

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His newest release, the wonderfully titled Old-Timey Hockey Tales, comes in at 28 pages and tells the stories of Bill Masterton, Alfie Moore, Gerry Cheevers, the Miracle on Manchester among others from hockey's golden age and is just $6! Additionally, you can still get Old-Timey Hockey Tales book one for the same low price.

Along the lines of Old-Timey Hockey Tales, you can also purchase a print of Liberez le Rocket!, Ullman's illustrated story about the Rocket Richard Riots. A signed 8" x 12" signed print is available for $10.

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Robert also does commission work! You simply provide him with some photos of your significant other and he will create one of his popular pin-up pieces of her wearing your sweater of choice created specifically for you. It doesn't even need to be a hockey theme or even a real person depicted, as he has also created baseball and football themed pieces and can certainly draw you a pretty girl at will.

For $250 you will receive both the original hand drawn 11" x 14" art as well as a color print of the image with all the logos and uniform details. After a quick sketch to ensure you are happy with the pose, he'll begin creating your one of a kind original - a fantastic gift for the holidays!

Ullman Whalers

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Friday, October 3, 2014

1997-98 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Espen Knutsen Jersey

On this date in 1997, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Vancouver Canucks played the first ever regular season game outside North America when they faced off at the Yoyogi Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

It was also the NHL debut for Espen Knutsen, only the third, and still the highest scoring player ever born and trained in Norway.

He began his rise to the NHL back in 1988-89 while playing junior hockey in his native Norway. It was during that season that he made his international debut for Norway with appearances in both the European Junior Championships (scoring 8 goals and 12 points in only 5 games) and the World Junior Championships.

The following season of 1989-90 Knutsen moved up to the Oslo based Vålerenga IF senior team of the Norwegian Eliteserien. His debut season was a spectacular one, scoring 53 points in 40 games from 25 goals and 28 assists. During that season another pair of international appearances were added to his growing resume, scoring 17 points in 6 games at the European Juniors and 9 points in 7 games at the World Junior Championships.

1990-91 saw Knutsen top himself with 54 regular season points, coming in just 31 games, during which he scored 30 goals. He also made his third appearance at the World Juniors that season. During the postseason, he added 7 more points in 5 games as Vålerenga captured the championship.

The 1991-92 season was Knutsen equal his 54 points from the previous campaign, only this time in one less game at 30. He followed that with an outstanding playoff, with 7 goals and 15 points in 8 games as Vålerenga captured back-to-back titles.

Injuries limited him to just 13 games in 1992-93, but he rebounded in 1993-94 with a vengeance, setting a career highs with 32 goals and 58 points, this coming in 38 contests. His international career continued to reach new levels as he was chosen to represent Norway at the 1994 Olympics on home soil in Lillehammer. Later that spring, he made his debut at the World Championships and was eventually named 1994 Norwegian Player of the Year.

Seeking a higher level of competition, Knutsen moved to Djurgardens IF in Sweden's Elitserien for the next three seasons, increasing his point totals from 20 to 33 and then 49. He would also compete for Norway at the World Championships in each of those three years as well.

Knutsen Djurgardens

Despite having been drafted by the Hartford Whalers as far back as 1990, he had remained in Europe the entire time, but with his rights now being held by the Mighty Ducks, he made the jump to North America, where he made his NHL debut at the season opener in Japan. He played 19 games with the Mighty Ducks, scoring 3 goals, but spent the majority of his season with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League after the physical play of the NHL took it's toll on the 168 pound European.

Knutsen Mighty Ducks

He returned to Djurgardens for the next two seasons, including 1999-00 when he led the club in scoring, finished second in the league scoring race and was the highest paid player in the country.

He was recruited by the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL and returned to North America for a second go. This time things went much better for Knutsen, as he scored 53 points in 66 games, finishing just 3 back of team leader Geoff Sanderson.

Knutsen Blue Jackets

While his point totals dropped to 42 in 2001-02, he became the first Norwegian to appear in the NHL All-Star Game when he was added to the World Team as an injury replacement.

Knutsen All Star

After the 2002-03 season, during which he was limited to just 31 games by injuries, he scored 9 points for Norway at the World Championships Division I level in what would be his final international appearance.

Knutsen Blue Jackets

Injuries again derailed his 2003-04 season, which was one of turmoil for Knutsen. Early in the season, after just 14 games with Columbus, he was assigned to their top minor league affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. After just two games he left North America and returned to Vålerenga in Norway for one game followed by six games back with Djurgardens in Stockholm.

His final NHL totals were 207 games played, 30 goals and 81 assists for 111 points.

He wrapped up his career in 2004-05 with 15 games in Djurgardens before calling it a career as a player before beginning anew in the world of coaching, where he is now the head coach for his original club, Vålerenga.

Today's featured jersey is a 1997-98 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Espen Knutsen jersey as worn on the occasion of his NHL debut for the Mighty Ducks season opening game held in Japan, commemorated by the Game ONe '97 patch worn on the upper right chest of this jersey.

This jersey style certainly raised eyebrows on it's debut in 1993, as only fellow Californians the San Jose Sharks with their teal jerseys debuted two years earlier had ever dared wear such unconventional colors as jade and eggplant in a league filled with blues, reds and blacks with only the occasional appearances of such outlandish colors as green, orange and yellow.

Also quite unusual at the time was the decision to actually use something so bold as a diagonal stripe across the body, but what really had people up in arms was owners Disney naming the team after their recent film "The Mighty Ducks" and choosing by far the most cartoonish, juvenile logo in league history.

All together, the complete package had purists up in arms, many of which never embraced the look even after 11 seasons of use.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks 97-98 jersey
Anaheim Mighty Ducks 97-98 jersey

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets Espen Knutsen jersey as worn during Knutsen's return to North America for the Blue Jackets inaugural season, which is also commemorated by a patch on the upper right chest.

The Blue Jackets original jerseys were a generally classy style, aside from the head of their cartoon mascot "Stinger" as a secondary shoulder patch, which remained on the shoulders until the Blue Jackets debuted a new alternate jersey in 2003 which saw a brand new logo design for the main crest. In a move to make their brand consistent across all three of their jerseys, the new alternate jersey logo was then used on one shoulder of the home and road jerseys, with a new secondary logo of a Civil War solider's cap on the opposite side, completing the retirement of "Stinger" and upgrading the jerseys look considerably.

Columbus Blue Jackets 00-01 jersey
Columbus Blue Jackets 00-01 jersey

Today's video segment begins with Knutsen royally embarrassing himself by participating in the making of a music video, which is coming back to haunt him years later.



This next video is from Knutsen returning to Columbus following his playing career on the Blue Jackets Alumni Night as part of their 10th anniversary.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

1995-96 Canadian National Team Glenn Anderson Jersey

Born on this date in 1960, Glenn Anderson took a far different path through his career than most players of his era. It started out conventionally enough, as Anderson moved up through the junior ranks, but then took a detour through United States college hockey, playing one year for the Denver Pioneers of the WCHA, where he scored 66 points in just 41 games.

He then joined the Canadian National Team, a program in which a dedicated squad would play a season long schedule of games as well as representing Canada in various tournaments, highlighted by the annual Spengler Cup, in an effort to establish a cohesive Olympic and World Championship squad, as opposed to a temporary rosters thrown together with little time to prepare, as was the norm prior to the full-time Canadian National Team program.

Many players used the Canadian National Team as a stepping stone to gain more seasoning in an effort to make the next step to the NHL. As part of the team, Anderson was a member of the Canadian Olympic Team in 1980 at Lake Placid where Canada went 3-2 in the preliminary round.

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Anderson vs. the Soviets during the 1980 Olympics

He would then embark on his NHL career, joining the Edmonton Oliers for the 1980-81 season. He would play 11 seasons for the Oilers, winning five Stanley Cups as part of their dynasty. Twice Anderson would have 50 goal seasons as part of the high flying Oilers offense, hitting 54 in both 1983-94 and 1985-86. Anderson also had three 100 point seasons, with a career best of 105 in 1981-82 from 38 goals and 67 assists. 1986-87 saw him set personal bests with 14 goals and 27 points during 21 games of  the 1986-87 playoffs.

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Anderson with the Stanley Cup in 1990

Always one to play for Team Canada when given the chance, he would also participate in the Canada Cup in both 1984 and 1987. 1987 would also see him skate for the NHL All-Stars versus the Soviet Union in the two-game Rendez-vous '87 held that season in place of the traditional All-Star game. He would make his first appearance for Canada in the World Championships in 1989.

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Ansderson again battling the Soviets, this time in the 1987 Canada Cup

In 1991, he was involved in a blockbuster trade, along with Grant Fuhr, that would send him to the Toronto Maple Leafs. While with Toronto, he asked for permission to participate in the 1994 Olympics, which the club agreed to in his contract, but the request was denied by Commissioner Gary Bettman.

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Anderson wearing the Maple Leafs Turn Back the Clock jersey in 1991-92

After three seasons with Toronto, Anderson was traded to the New York Rangers at the end of the 1993-94 season, arriving just in time to capture his sixth Stanley Cup.

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Anderson helped the Rangers end their long Stanley Cup drought

At this point, armed with more than a fist full of Stanley Cup rings, Anderson's career now took him on a path that would see him cross the Atlantic and back multiple times. The 1994-95 season would see him play for 4 games for Lukko Rauma in Finland, 5 with the Augsburg Panthers of the German DEL, 26 games for the Canadian National Team and 36 games for the St. Louis Blues!

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Anderson back in the NHL with St. Louis

1995-96 was no different, with 11 more games for the Canadian National Team, 9 more back in Augsburg in Germany, 17 games once more with the Oilers and a second stint in St. Louis to finish the NHL season with 15 regular season and 11 playoff games.

His career would wind down with a pair of games for HC Bolzano in Italy and 23 games for HC La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss league in 1996-97, making for 10 stints with 9 different teams in just three seasons in six different countries.

His final NHL totals would show 1129 games played, a tantalizing 498 goals and 601 assists for 1099 points with 225 more playoff appearances which included 93 goals and 121 assists for 214 career playoff points and six Stanley Cup Championships.

His #9 has was retired by the Edmonton Oilers on January 18, 2009 and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

Today's featured jersey is a 1995-96 Canadian National Team Glenn Anderson jersey. This style jersey was worn only by the Canadian National Team. A similar jersey using the diagonal waist stripes was used by the 1995 Canadian World Junior Team, but was produced by Reebok and featured their large, distinctive logos on the shoulders.

This is one of our favorite jerseys due to it's unique and fairly obscure place in Canadian hockey history, combined with it's how unusual it is to find the CCM version of this jersey style. It was a fun and enjoyable project to research, which paid off handsomely by being worn by such a player of note, whose unique career path matched the unique nature of the jersey.

While we were never able to find any photos of Anderson wearing this particular jersey style, we felt safe in assuming that an NHL player with six Stanley Cups and over 1000 games played would have been named team captain on a club mostly made up young players looking to step up to the NHL.

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This video was made by the Oilers on the occasion of his jersey retirement.


This similar video is part one of the actual retirement ceremony, and features quotes from Anderson not found in the previous video.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014 Minnesota Hockey Collectors Expo

This Sunday, October 5th, is one of the highlights of the jersey collecting calendar, the 13th Annual Minnesota Hockey Collectors Expo. Anyone who can make it to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul should stop by Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub near the Xcel Energy Center from 11 AM to 6 PM.


It's the largest gathering of game worn jerseys in Minnesota each year and you can count on seeing some amazing and varied collections in a great hockey environment. This event is free and features collectors bringing favorites from their personal collection for some good old show and tell, with an emphasis on jerseys related to the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota North Stars and Minnesota Gophers, as well as many other interesting jerseys from throughout the hockey world. It's great opportunity to see some great game worn jerseys up close, meet some new people and perhaps add a new jersey to your collection.

To further entice you to attend, here are some photos from one of the previous editions.

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Above is Scott Janvrin's impressive Ben Clymer collection. Collecting one player, such as Clymer can be a challenge when they make multiple stops in the NHL and the AHL, but that challenge increases exponentially when a player extends his career by playing in Europe, so this collection was all the more impressive with the addition of game worn jerseys from the German DEL.


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Kyle Oen brought his amazing game worn Minnesota high school jersey collection that rivals the one on display at the Xcel Energy Center. He also has other Minnesota based teams in his collection, such as the Minnesota Moose and Minnesota Gophers. Kyle's love of all things Minnesota hockey related is expressed in his website, VintageMinnesotaHockey.com.

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Above is John Lindberg's take on a Minnesota theme. Where Kyle collects teams from Minnesota, John is more about former Gophers NHL jerseys as well as Minnesota Wild prospects jerseys before they reach the NHL.

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Can't make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto? Then having the opportunity to see Jon Bakke's collection of vintage jerseys can save you the trip! Jon went with a theme, bringing all his old Quebec Nordiques jerseys, the centerpiece of which are his Stastny brothers!

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Jon can be easily spotted at Minnesota Wild games wearing his rotating collection of gamers, as he doesn't just hang them in a closet, he wears his regularly to Wild games.

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Here is Jon sharing his collection with former North Star Maxwell, who probably had a few intense battles with the Nordiques before becoming one himself at one point in his career.

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Speaking of Hall of Fame worthy collections, Dan Erspamer's Minnesota North Stars collection is highlighted with not only a first year North Stars jersey, but one belonging to the tragic Bill Masterton - a true gem of the expo. If you'd like to talk jerseys with Dan, he's an expert and can be found working at The Hockey Lodge store at Minnesota Wild home games, which take place just up the road from Reid's at the Xcel Energy Center.

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Chris Groth (right) has his own hall of fame collection underway and goes for whatever catches his eye. He brought some real gems, including game worn jerseys from Luc RobitailleJoe Sakic and Theo Fleury, but his Alexander Ovechkin game worn jersey was certainly an Expo highlight.

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Eric Bodamer, who designed all the jerseys Nike supplied for the 1998 Olympic hockey tournament in Nagano, Japan, brought with his collection of game worn jerseys from his hometown Buffalo Sabres.

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This collection with a Minnesota and Minnesota Wild theme was really impressive, particularly the Mikael Granlund jersey from HIFK Helsinki. Just how do people track these things down?! You have to appreciate dealing with the differences in time zone, language and currency when it comes to obtaining European jerseys.

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Yes, you are seeing that right, it's a Milwaukee Admirals "Bob Uecker Night" jersey modeled after Uecker's infamous plaid sport coats! That jersey, and the rest of the collection on the table belong to Chris Jerina. The Uecker jersey, along with the Masterton jersey, was easily our favorite of the event.

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Here was our contribution to the proceedings, our history of patches worn by the Minnesota Wild in their 10 years of play. We also brought our collection of game worn German National Team jerseys, which date from 1989 to 2009.

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Another great person to meet was certainly Dan Schafer, who was the former equipment manager for the Minnesota Moose of the IHL. His Nordiques jersey from the late Stephane Morin was one of our personal favorites.

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The walls of Tom Reid's are just dripping with hockey memorabilia and create the perfect environment to hold such an event.

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Who says the event is just for guys?

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Finally, the collection of event organizer Frechette, without whom the Expo would not exist. Dave's collection focuses primarily on Minnesota Wild players jerseys, only before they joined the Wild. Examples in his collection are Wild prospects jerseys from their college and junior team as well as European born players jerseys from their European club teams. He is shown with his new pride and joy, Dany Heatley's Ak Bars Kazan game worn jersey from Heatley's time in Russia during the lost NHL season of 2004-05.

How he is consistently able to track down jerseys from such a wide variety of sources is one of the more impressive things to take in at the Expo and his appreciation of hockey history is evidenced by the rare and wonderful Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA jersey seen here as well as his North Stars game worn jersey on display behind him.

This year's Minnesota Hockey Collectors Expo will again feature a raffle, with some great prizes up for grabs from the collections of many of those in attendance in an effort to raise money for the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association, who will receive 100% of the proceeds from the raffle.

For details of the the 13th annual expo, including notable players who plan on attending, check out the event's facebook page. It's a can't miss event and we certainly hope those of you who can, will take the time to come on down to Tom Reid's this Sunday!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2000-01 Chicago Blackhawks Tony Amonte Jersey

On this date in 2000, Tony Amonte became the 30th man to be named team captain in Chicago Blackhawks history. Amonte joined the NHL following two seasons at Boston University when he skated in a pair of playoff games for the New York Rangers following the conclusion of his college career in 1991.

Amonte played three seasons for the Rangers before being dealt to Chicago in the deal that brought Stephane Matteau to New York. After seven seasons with the Blackhawks, in which he scored over 40 goals three times, Amonte rose to the captaincy, joining an elite group of men to wear the "C" for one of the league's historic Original 6 franchises.

The list of men to wear the "C" for Chicago reads like a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, beginning with Dick Irvin, the original captain from 1926 to 1929. Irvin would later become the Black Hawks head coach.

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Dick Irvin

Goaltender Charlie Gardiner (who sadly passed away at age 29) served as captain from 1933 to 1934. Earl Seibert was captain from 1940-42 and proceeded Doug Bentley, who held the job from 1942-1944. Following Bentley was Clint Smith in 1944-45 and John Mariucci in 1945-46.

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Doug Bentley

Bentley regained the captaincy in 1949-50 prior to giving way to Jack Stewart for 1950 to 1952, followed by Bill Gadsby, who wore the "C" from 1952 to 1954. Defenseman Pierre Pilote was the longest serving team captain in Black Hawks history, serving from 1961 through 1968.

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Pierre Pilote

All-time franchise scoring leader Stan Mikita was one of three captains in the 1976-77 season and Denis Savard served in the 1988-89 season.

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Denis Savard

Of these men, Irvin was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958, Gardiner in 1945 and Siebert 1963. When he was elected, he became part of the first father/son combination in the Hall of Fame with his father Oliver Siebert.

Doug Bentley was inducted in 1964, Mariucci in 1985, Smith in 1991, Gadsby in 1970 and Stewart joined in 1964. Pilote got the call in 1975 and Savard in 2000.

More recent captains, and certainly some who will receive consideration for the hall, are Dirk Graham (1989-1995), Chris Chelios (1995-1999) and Doug Gilmour (1999-2000) prior to Amonte, who was captain from 2000-2002.

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Dirk Graham

Since the departure of Amonte, the Blackhawks captains have been Russian Alexi Zhamnov (2002-2004), Adrian Aucoin (2005-2007), Martin Lapointe in 2006, and now Stanley Cup winning captain Jonathan Toews, who looks primed to give Pilote a run for his money in the longevity department, having become the third youngest captain in NHL history when he was given the "C" at age 20, and is now the second youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup. Toews is currently signed through the 2022-23 season with Chicago.

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Jonathan Toews

Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Chicago Blackhawks Tony Amonte jersey. This black alternate jersey was introduced in 1996 and worn through 2006-07 before being retired with the changeover to the new Reebok Edge jerseys. After one season it was revived for a year om 2008-09 before being replaced by the black jersey worn in the Winter Classic held in Chicago's Wrigley Field on January 1st, 2009.

This Amonte jersey features the Blackhawks 75th Anniversary patch to mark their joining the NHL in 1926, one of the more understated team anniversary patches in recent memory befitting an Original 6 franchise.

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Our video selection today is a look back at Chicago Blackhawks history, now spanning over 80 years.

 

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