The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the organization will again partner with Blackhawks Charities and Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk for the Eddie Olczyk Award, to help offset the financial burden of youth hockey players and teams in Illinois that may not have the means to play at a competitive level.
In its inaugural year, the Eddie Olczyk Award issued $25,000 in grants, raised through Blackhawks Youth Hockey Summer Camps, to individuals and families in need of assistance for participation in an Illinois sanctioned team or organization, sanctioned teams in need of assistance for tournament expenses and Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) organizations in need of assistance to run programs which increase the participation in, and quality of, youth hockey. In order to be considered for the grant process, letters of inquiry must be received by Dec. 14, 2012. Complete information can be found on chicagoblackhawks.com.
“It's a privilege to work with an organization as dedicated to growing the game of hockey as the Blackhawks are,” Olczyk said. “I'm truly appreciative of the support and combined effort John McDonough, Jay Blunk and everyone at the Blackhawks have given to making hockey available to anyone in Illinois that’s interested. We had a tremendous response to the launch of the award last year and look forward to another successful year in working directly with the community.”
A 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and native of Palos Heights, Ill., Olczyk is now in his seventh season as the television analyst for Blackhawks hockey on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9. He also serves as the Head Instructor at Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Camps and is dedicated to the development and growth of youth hockey in Illinois.
A veteran of 16 National Hockey League seasons, Olczyk began his career as an 18-year-old with his hometown Blackhawks in 1984-85 after being chosen with the third overall selection of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Olczyk recorded 77 goals and 209 points in 322 regular-season tilts over five seasons with Chicago (1984-87, 1998-2000) and tallied 13 points (7G, 6A) in 21 Stanley Cup Playoff tilts with the Blackhawks.
Over the course of 1,031 regular-season games he scored 342 goals and recorded 794 points with Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Winnipeg, the New York Rangers and Los Angeles, winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, and was also a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. Olczyk also serves as the lead television analyst for NHL national broadcasts on NBC Sports Group.