Remember back in September when I wrote that the Blackhawks should have a Hall of Fame? The idea was that the organization is nearing its 100th anniversary and there are so many great players who haven’t been formally recognized with a jersey retirement that something could — should — be done to honor them.
I was mindful of that on Saturday night as Doug Wilson spoke in San Jose about how much his time in Chicago mean to him… while having a banner put in the rafters by the Sharks (for him he played parts of two seasons as their first captain and then served as the general manager for really good 19 years).
If you’ve followed my Blackhawks coverage for the past 15-plus years, you will also know that I’ve been banging the drum for the organization to #retire28 for Steve Larmer from the get-go. And I still firmly believe that his number should be taken out of circulation by the organization; we’re reminded of just how good he is as Patrick Kane takes another step up every offensive leaderboard in franchise history and Larmer’s name is still on every single top-five list that appears on our television screens.
Well, on Wednesday Danny Wirtz and Jamie Faulkner appeared on the CHGO podcast and spoke about a wide range of topics… but the one that specifically peaked my interest was when Wirtz said they are indeed considering some type of either a Blackhawks Hall of Fame or Ring of Honor in advance of the organization celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2026.
“With our centennial anniversary coming up, I think it’s a perfect sort of deadline for us to get this in order,” Wirtz said. “Because if you actually think about the last three Cups and the amount of players that contributed to that and how to honor them but there are also some really important eras in our history that we’ve had amazing players and how we connect each of those eras together and make that part of the Blackhawks experience. We’re in planning stages and I’m not sure if it will take the form of a Ring of Honor or a Hall of Fame or whatever it might be but I do think we will formalize how we recognize and honor our great players.”
Wirtz went on to say that will involve committees (I’m available, Danny… and I’ve written a couple books about the Blackhawks’ history… just sayin) and they’ll find a way for fans to participate in that process as well (get ready for even more #retire28).
Wirtz is right. The Blackhawks have a lot of players who should be honored in some way. We’ve already talked about how many players could legitimately have their numbers retired just from the past 15 years, much less when we get into talking about players like Wilson, Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios and even further back with the Bentley brothers and Bill Mosienko.
This is an exciting development to keep an eye on moving forward. And, again, Danny — if you’re reading this (I hope you are!) — I’m available!