Today, Congressman and die-hard Blackhawks fan Mike Quigley (D-IL) announced the House passage of H. Res. 1439, a resolution he introduced immediately after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup Championship.
The resolution passed overwhelmingly, with only a few dissenting votes from presumable Philadelphia Flyers fans.
Quigley delivered the following remarks on the House floor yesterday in advance of the bill’s consideration:
“About three weeks ago, several hundred brave Chicago Blackhawk hockey fans sat in Philadelphia and wondered why Patrick Kane was flying across the ice in celebration. He scored the goal that no one saw; the goal that brought an end to 49 years of frustration for Blackhawk fans and exorcised the ghost of the demons of Jacques Lemaire in 1971, and he helped make the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup Champions.
It was a long, extraordinarily tough road for these players. Many of these players competed in over 120 games when you count the Olympics, an extraordinarily grueling task for them to accomplish this.
But that goal set off a celebration that ended with two million people in downtown Chicago in a parade. It set off a celebration in Philadelphia among the few fans that were there from Chicago, and among the alumni of Blackhawks, including Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, and many others and unfortunately many alumni who are no longer with us, Hawk legends who are forever in our hearts, such as Keith Magnuson and Pit Martin.
It also set off an extraordinary celebration in Chicago, which for many of us is still going on. There are many people to thank, first of which, as far as I understand the only truly popular owner I know in professional sports – Rocky Wirtz – who combined his full efforts with the dedication to bring a championship to Chicago. John McDonough, the president of the team, Jay Blunk, Stan Bowman and Scotty Bowman, who were extraordinary in putting this team together and advising it along with Dale Tallon, who’s no longer with the team, but we owe a great deal of gratitude. Defenseman Duncan Keith, the James Norris Memorial Trophy winner this year, Captain Jonathan Toews, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy, and to a team of All-Stars including Brian Campbell as well.
We had several Olympians who also competed. We had players who won the Stanley Cup and the gold medal in one year, which doesn’t happen all the time.
But my main message today is to all those long-suffering dedicated Blackhawk fans who have enjoyed this victory ever since… The fans who understood what it was like to cheer for Pierre Pilote, Denis Savard, and Tony Esposito and all the years in which we didn’t quite make it to the playoffs but they loved the Madhouse on Madison as much as I did, and I look forward to many more years of excitement for this team that Mr. Wirtz has brought us.
So I yield back now, but it was a wonderful night, and we appreciate your co-sponsorships.”
The text of the resolution is as follows:
"CONGRATULATING THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS ON WINNING THE 2010 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
Whereas the historic Chicago Blackhawks, as one of the `Original Six', have made countless contributions to sports;
Whereas the Blackhawks and the National Hockey League have demonstrated a commitment to promoting fitness and leadership skills for youth through support for youth hockey programs and community skating facilities;
Whereas with 101 straight home game sellouts, and an NHL leading regular-season average attendance of 21,356, the Blackhawks are the pride of their hometown, Chicago, Illinois;
Whereas in just 3 years, the Blackhawks organization of Rocky Wirtz, Joel Quenneville, John McDonough, Stan Bowman, Scotty Bowman, Jay Blunk, and Dale Tallon have revitalized a franchise and reminded Chicago that it has always been a hockey town;
Whereas the Chicago Blackhawks, through amazing offense, superb defense, and unmatched depth, dominated the regular season and won 52 games;
Whereas the Blackhawks defeated the Nashville Predators in 6 games, the Vancouver Canucks in 6 games, and swept the number 1 seeded San Jose Sharks to become the Western Conference Champions and advance to the Stanley Cup Final;
Whereas in the Stanley Cup Final series, the Blackhawks held off the aggressive play and talent of the Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers, who deserve great credit, to win in overtime, and provide one of the most exciting final series in recent history; and
Whereas the innumerable contributions from every player, coach, and the entire Blackhawks family have ended the 49-year-long championship drought and brought the roar back to Madison Street and Lord Stanley's Cup to where it belongs, sweet home Chicago: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) recognizes the Chicago Blackhawks for their long distinguished history, countless contributions to sports, and their many successes as a franchise;
(2) congratulates the Blackhawks on an amazing season and for winning the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship;
(3) recognizes the players, coaches, and leadership of the Blackhawks organization; and
(4) joins with all people in the United States and hockey fans all over the world in celebrating the return of the Stanley Cup to Chicago, Illinois.
Last fall, when Quigley enumerated the Top Ten Reasons to love Chicago, he closed his speech by saying, "I look forward to coming back next summer with Chicago's Stanley Cup."
Quigley still plays hockey regularly in Chicago and Washington. He recently played in a charity game at the United Center against the Blackhawks alumni, as well as a “Lawmakers vs. Lobbyists” match-up in Washington. He is a co-chair of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, a bipartisan group dedicated to combating childhood obesity while promoting exercise, teamwork, discipline, and commitment through hockey. He has been a lifelong Chicago Blackhawks fan.