The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that the organization will partner with Blackhawks Television Analyst Eddie Olczyk and Chicago Blackhawks Charities for the seventh annual Eddie Olczyk Award, which supports youth hockey players, teams and organizations in Illinois that may not have the means to play at a competitive level.
Since its inception in 2011, the Eddie Olczyk Award has distributed more than $362,000 in grants, raised through Blackhawks Youth Hockey Summer Camps, to 160 individuals and eight organizations. Those who wish to be considered for this season's grant process must submit a letter of inquiry by Thursday, February 1, 2018. Eligible parties include 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. Complete information can be found here.
Over the summer, Olczyk announced that he was diagnosed with a form of colon cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. As Olczyk serves as Co-Lead of Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Camps and is dedicated to the development and growth of youth hockey in Illinois, the Blackhawks have produced helmet decals for young hockey players to show their support for their favorite youth hockey ambassador and broadcaster. The decal features a microphone along with "Edzo's" number, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Eddie Olczyk Award. Teams and organizations can order those here.
A 2012 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and native of Palos Heights, Ill., Olczyk is now in his 12th season as the television analyst for Blackhawks hockey on NBC Sports Chicago and WGN-TV. In 2016, he received the Chicago Athletic Association's Ring Lardner Award, which honors broadcasters and writers who "exemplify the wit and warmth of Ring Lardner's writing."
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.