It was 82 years ago this week that Chicago was awarded an NHL franchise, on September 25, 1926. Chicago coffee entrepreneur Frederic McLaughlin obtained the franchise rights in the new ten-team National Hockey League, and named the team the "Black Hawks" after his World War I Battalion.
|The 1926-27 Chicago Blackhawks
In order to be competitive in the first season, McLaughlin paid $200,000 to acquire the Portland Rosebuds’ players, which included Dick Irvin - the Hawks’ first captain and the team’s leading scorer in the 1926-27 season. Later, Irvin coached the Hawks twice and won four Stanley Cups (one with Toronto and three with Montreal).
The Hawks opened the 44-game season with two straight wins: a 4-1 victory on November 17, 1926 against Toronto and a 5-1 win versus Boston on November 20 at the Chicago Coliseum.
In their inaugural campaign, the Hawks finished third in the American Division but lost in the playoffs to Boston.
Ironically, Irvin, who coached the Hawks for two seasons (1930-32) after playing in Chicago for three more, was fired in mid-season. He gained a measure of revenge when Toronto hired him and his team met the Hawks in 1932 playoffs. The Hawks won the first game 1-0 behind future Hall of Fame goalie, Charlie Gardiner, but the Leafs triumphed 6-1 for the edge in total goals. They went on to take the Stanley Cup.