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Former Calder Winners Pay Dividends For Hawks

by Harvey Wittenberg / Chicago Blackhawks
Let's hope that the run of good luck continues for Blackhawk Calder Memorial Trophy winners.

Not only did Patrick Kane become the first Hawk to win the award since goalie Ed Belfour in 1991, but it also marked the first time in Blackhawks history that two Hawks were finalists for the award.

This bodes well for the coming seasons, as the last 4 Hawks to win the Calder saw very positive results:

Tony Esposito

In his rookie season, Bill Hay, the 1960 Calder winner, was also the first U.S. college graduate to play for Chicago. Hay was second on the team with 19 goals, behind only Bobby Hull.

The following year, with Stan Mikita and Glenn Hall as well, the Hawks won the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship.

In 1970, goalie Tony Esposito won top honors, setting an NHL record for shutouts by a rookie (15) which still stands today. The Hawks, with “Tony O” in net, became the first NHL team to go from last place the previous year to first in the next between the 1969-70 and 1970-71 Seasons. Chicago went to the Stanley Cup Finals in ’71 before a heart-breaking 7 game series loss to Montreal.

The Hawk’s next Calder winner was a 6th-round draft pick in 1980: Steve Larmer.

Bill Hay

The right winger made the team in 1982-83, scoring 43 goals and 90 points, both Blackhawks rookie record. In 1982, Larmer also began his streak of 884 consecutive games, still second-longest in NHL history.

The 1982-83 Team went from fourth in the Norris Division to first and reached the Western Conference Finals before losing to Edmonton, the eventual champions.

In 1991, when Ed Belfour was selected the Calder winner, the team finished first in the division.

The following season, the Hawks went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before being falling to Pittsburgh, led by Mario Lemieux.

Of the 3 other Chicago rookie trophy winners: Cully Dahlstrom won the award in 1938 when the Hawks won the cup with goalie Mike Karakas, the 1935 Calder recipient, in the crease.

In 1955, Eddie Litzenberger garnered the Calder Trophy and later became team captain.

Looking ahead to the coming season with our latest Calder Trophy winner, Kane, let's hope the past history repeats itself. Hopefully, his development continues and the Blackhawks get a lot closer to the elusive Stanley Cup!

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