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BLOG: Blackhawks Highlighted in Decade's Best

Chicago well-represented as ESPN counts down league's top players of the decade

by Monterey Pepper /

As 2019 nears a close and with 2020 right around the corner, ESPN continued their decade countdown of the NHL's best. The 2009-10 Blackhawks were already dubbed the decade's best team, but who cracked the list of the top 100 players?

Turns out, there were quite a few current and former Blackhawks: 

No. 80: Dustin Byfuglien

A member of the Blackhawks for just a few months of the decade, Byfuglien was a key piece of the 2010 Stanley Cup run - playing a versatile role as a winger and defenseman. 

Here's what ESPN had to say:
Big Buff began the decade as a hulking winger with the Blackhawks and ended it as a hulking defenseman with the Winnipeg Jets. So he was technically third among defensemen at 139 goals for the decade.

No. 78: Corey Crawford

The Blackhawks leading man in net for much of the decade propelled the team to two Stanley Cups. The Quebec native currently boasts a .909 SV% with a 3.08 GAA in 19 games played. 

Here's what ESPN had to say:
The Blackhawks netminder backstopped them to two Stanley Cups, including a .932 save percentage and a 1.84 goals-against average in 2013. He was also sixth in even-strength save percentage for the decade (.926).

No. 67: Marian Hossa 

The Demi-God Marian Hossa secured his legacy within the Blackhawks franchise after being signed in the summer of 2009. The winger has three Stanley Cup wins under his belt, playing a pivotal role in each victory. 

Here's what ESPN had to say: 
Hossa scored 324 goals in the previous decade, but the 2010s might be the time when he earned newfound appreciation as a two-way player. He had 48 points combined in the Blackhawks' three Stanley Cup championship runs.

No. 64: Artemi Panarin

The undrafted free agent burst onto the scene in his first two seasons in Chicago with 151 points in 162 games with the Blackhawks from 2015-2017.

Here's what ESPN had to say: 
Since he burst onto the scene by winning the Calder Trophy with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, and through his years in Columbus, Panarin has the 10th-best points-per-game average (1.02) among all players. A wizard with the puck, and a possession driver.

No. 15: Jonathan Toews

The captain is no surprise to see on this list. The third-overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft is in his 13th season with the Blackhawks and is sitting third in points (7G, 17A) on the team leaderboard playing in 35 games so far. 

Here's what ESPN had to say:
His numbers were stellar: 656 points in 761 games, good for 14th among all players. His plus-167 was fifth highest among all players. His 140.3 goals above average was the sixth highest for the decade. His 57.3 faceoff winning percentage was second best, one of the reasons he won the Selke Trophy and was a finalist three other times. Oh, and then there was that Conn Smythe win in 2010. That too. His 0.87 points per game in the playoffs this decade ranked fifth.

No. 10: Duncan Keith 

Keith holds the second most points (589 total, 99G, 490A) in franchise history for a defenseman, trailing only Doug Wilson's 779 points (225G, 554A).The Manitoba native has tallied six points (1G, 5A) in 26 games so far this season.

Here's what ESPN had to say:
Keith was the backbone of the Blackhawks' success this decade. He averaged 25:16 of ice time per game, scoring 455 points in 755 games (fourth in the NHL). He won two Norris trophies and the 2015 Conn Smythe in what was one of the most dominant postseasons ever for a defenseman: 21 points in 23 games, a 64.29 goals-for percentage and 31:07 average ice time.

No. 9: Patrick Kane

Kane has been a consistent force for the Blackhawks throughout his first 12 seasons. Since being drafted first overall in the 2007 draft, Kane has secured himself a No. 4 spot on the franchise leaderboard in points at 978 (374G, 604A) behind Stan Mikita (1,467), Bobby Hull (1,153) and Denis Savard (1,096). The winger has tallied 40 points (18G, 22A) in 35 games so far this season. 

Here's what ESPN had to say:
Kane will end the 2010s as the decade's leading scorer in total points, although his points-per-game average (1.08) ranks him fourth overall. He's the best right wing of the decade, scoring 20 or more goals every season. His run from 2015-16 to now is one of the best stretches for any scorer in the decade, with a 1.17 points per game average. Kane won the Hart in 2016 and the Conn Smythe in 2013, finishing second in the decade in points-per-game average in the postseason (0.98). 

See which other NHL talent cracked the Top 100 here

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