My family has always been a huge hockey family. Scratch that. My family has always been a ridiculously fanatical and committed Chicago Blackhawks family. To this day, I have listened to my father tell the story thousand of times of him lying awake in the darkness of his bedroom as a young boy, listening to the radio in heartbroken, stunned silence as a soft shot from center ice by the Montreal Canadiens cost the Hawks the 1971 Stanley Cup championship.
But redemption eventually did come, and in a huge way. Two recent Stanley Cups (2010 and 2013) were brought home to Chicago, and as we enter the next playoff round -- that now has them only eight wins away from another championship -- hopefully a third Stanley Cup trophy will be on its way. Considered by many as the team to beat, the games are bringing thousands of fans to NHL games at the Madhouse on Madison, and drawing millions of viewers to watch them on television. The Blackhawks have become iconic.
I have watched in person as those Brent Seabrook slap shots win the games in overtime and cannot help but think what most people who are Blackhawks fans are thinking: thank you.