Here come the Hawks!

On November 17, 1926, the Chicago Blackhawks took to the ice at Chicago Coliseum for the franchise’s first game, taking a 4-1 victory over the  Toronto St. Pats.

The Hawks were headed by Coach Peter Muldoon found themselves embraced by fans from the first puck drop.

Sportswriter Frank Schreiber wrote in the Chicago Daily Tribune wrote, “There was action in every period and the fans, many of them watching their very first hockey match, greeted the efforts of the players with generous applause.”

The Hawks scored twice in the first and third periods to claim their first victory. They finished the season third in the division with a 19-23-3 record.

Harvard alum and businessman, Major Frederic McLaughlin bought the Portland Rosebuds of the Western Hockey League for $200,000. He brought the strongest players to Chicago and paid a  $12,000 entry fee, allowing the Blackhawks to join the NHL.

McLaughin commanded the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Division of the U.S. Army. They called themselves Blackhawks in honor of Sauk Indian chief, Black Hawk, who worked with the Illinois government on treatment of native people.

The team remains at the heart of the city figuratively and now literally since the United Center standing on Maddison Street, the dividing line between north and south.

Chicago Tribune Flashback to the first game


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