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2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks season

The 2008–09 Chicago Blackhawks season is the club's 83rd season in the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to the start of the season, the Blackhawks announced that 20-year-old center Jonathan Toews would serve as the team's captain for the 2008–09 season, thus making him the 3rd-youngest player to earn that distinction in the NHL.[1] Their regular season began on October 10, 2008, against the New York Rangers and concluded on April 12, 2009, against the rival Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks played in the Winter Classic, an outdoor game, against the Red Wings at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009. The team succeeded in making the 2008–09 playoffs with a 3-1 win over Nashville on April 3 after missing the 2007–08 playoffs by three points.


The Chicago Blackhawks had a busy offseason following the 2007–08 regular season. In late April, a few weeks after the season concluded, the Blackhawks announced that they were entering a three-year partnership with WGN (720 AM); they previously aired games on WSCR (670 AM). This coincided with a previous announcement that the team would air up to twenty games on WGN's TV affiliate.[2] The club also brought back announcer Pat Foley to do the play-by-play announcing for all television broadcasts.[3]

The Blackhawks made a "huge splash" on the first day of free agency by signing defenseman Brian Campbell and goaltender Cristobal Huet.[4] Campbell's $57.12 million contract was the largest in team history.[5] Along with Campbell and Huet, the Blackhawks signed three other free agents, while losing three to other teams. Long-time Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman joined the organization in late July as Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations.[6] The Hawks also added Rockford IceHogs head coach Mike Haviland as an assistant coach, and signed former Colorado Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville as a scout.[7][8]

On July 16, 2008, the NHL announced that the Blackhawks would host the second outdoor NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2009, at Wrigley Field against the rival Detroit Red Wings.[9] The game will be the 701st meeting between the two clubs, and the Blackhawks will wear uniforms similar to those they wore during the 1936–37 season.[10]

The team also announced that they intended to retire jersey number #3 in honor of defensemen Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson. Hockey Hall of Famer Pilote spent thirteen seasons with the Hawks, winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman on three occasions. Magnuson accumulated over 1,400 penalty minutes in eleven years with the team. Magnuson was the president of the Blackhawks Alumni Association before he died in an automobile accident in 2003.[11]

Season events

The Chicago Blackhawks opened the season against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 2008. After winning only one of their first four games, the Blackhawks fired head coach Denis Savard. Shortly afterwards, they promoted scout Joel Quenneville as his replacement.[12] In 147 games as coach, Savard posted a 65-66-16 record.

In December, an anonymous Blackhawks fan submitted an email to Mike Ross of XM Radio's NHL Home Ice, which revealed that the team had interrupted their travel schedule to attend the wake of General Manager Dale Tallon's father.[13] The team voted to delay their flight to Chicago during a six game road trip in order to travel to the wake, which was in Northern Canada.[14] The team reached the wake on two buses, and surprised Tallon, who was unaware of the team's plans.[14][15] Ross was shocked that no media outlets had initially reported the story, and commented, "Its amazing that such a good story can be found nowhere on the internet, and not even mentioned in the Chicago papers. Had one of the Blackhawks got into a fight and punched some drunken loser in a Toronto bar it would be plastered all over papers and the television."[14] The story eventually garnered much attention from various media outlets in the following week, including ESPN, Yahoo! Sports and Deadspin. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann commended the team's actions, by naming them the "best persons in the world" for the week.[15][16]

On December 28, 2008, the Blackhawks set a franchise record nine consecutive wins.

Division standings

Central Division
1 y – Detroit Red Wings 82 51 21 10 295 244 112
2 Chicago Blackhawks 82 46 24 12 264 216 104
3 St. Louis Blues 82 41 31 10 233 233 92
4 Columbus Blue Jackets 82 41 31 10 226 230 92
5 Nashville Predators 82 40 34 8 213 233 88

Conference standings

Western Conference
1 p – San Jose Sharks PA 82 53 18 11 257 204 117
2 y – Detroit Red Wings CE 82 51 21 10 295 244 112
3 y – Vancouver Canucks NW 82 45 27 10 246 220 100
4 Chicago Blackhawks CE 82 46 24 12 264 216 104
5 Calgary Flames NW 82 46 30 6 254 248 98
6 St. Louis Blues CE 82 41 31 10 233 233 92
7 Columbus Blue Jackets CE 82 41 31 10 226 230 92
8 Anaheim Ducks PA 82 42 33 7 245 238 91
9 Minnesota Wild NW 82 40 33 9 219 200 89
10 Nashville Predators CE 82 40 34 8 213 233 88
11 Edmonton Oilers NW 82 38 35 9 234 248 85
12 Dallas Stars PA 82 36 35 11 230 257 83
13 Phoenix Coyotes PA 82 36 39 7 208 252 79
14 Los Angeles Kings PA 82 34 37 11 207 234 79
15 Colorado Avalanche NW 82 32 45 5 199 257 69

bold - qualified for playoffs, y – division winner, pPresidents' Trophy winner
CE - Central Division, NW - Northwest Division, PA - Pacific Division

Game log

Legend:       Win (2 points)       Loss (0 points)       Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)

2008–09 game log


  • For the first time since 2002, the Blackhawks qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.[17]
  • For the first time since 1996, the Blackhawks advanced to the Stanley Cup Semi-final.[18]
  • For the first time since 1995 the Blackhawks advanced to the conference finals.[19]
2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Legend:       Win       Loss

Player stats


Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played in; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; +/- = Plus/minus; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals 


Note:  Min, TOI = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T,T/OT = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts; SA = Shots against; SV = Shots saved; SV% = Save percentage;

Regular season
Player GP Min W L OT GA GAA SA SV Sv% SO
Nikolai Khabibulin 42 2467 25 8 7 96 2.33 1192 1096 .919 3
Cristobal Huet 41 2351 20 15 4 99 2.53 1087 998 .909 3
Antti Niemi 3 141 1 1 1 8 3.40 59 51 .864 0
Combined 46 24 12 203 2.46 1554 1429 .917 6
Player GP Min W L GA GAA SA SV Sv% SO
Nikolai Khabibulin 15 880 8 6 43 2.93 421 378 .898 0
Cristobal Huet 3 129 1 2 7 3.23 78 71 .910 0
Corey Crawford 1 15 0 0 1 3.77 7 6 .857 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Blackhawks. Stats reflect time with the Blackhawks only.
Traded mid-season
Bold/italics denotes franchise record

Awards and records


Regular season
Player Milestone Reached
Colin Fraser 1st NHL goal
1st NHL point
October 15, 2008
Brent Sopel 500th game October 27, 2008



July 1, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
2009 second-round pick
To Calgary Flames
Rene Bourque
July 17, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
Tim Brent
To Pittsburgh Penguins
Danny Richmond
July 24, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
Pascal Pelletier
To Boston Bruins
Martin St. Pierre
Septembers 12, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
2010 second-round pick from Toronto
To Montreal Canadiens
Robert Lang
October 2, 2008
To Dallas Stars
Doug Janik
To Chicago Blackhawks
Claimed off waivers
October 3, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
Joakim Lindstrom
To Anaheim Ducks
Claimed off waivers
October 7, 2008
To Anaheim Ducks
Joakim Lindstrom
To Chicago Blackhawks
Claimed off waivers
October 8, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
Doug Janik
To Dallas Stars
Claimed off waivers
To Chicago Blackhawks
Conditional seventh-round pick
To Dallas Stars
Doug Janik
December 9, 2008
To Chicago Blackhawks
Jimmy Sharrow
To Vancouver Canucks
Conditional seventh-round pick
January 10, 2009
To Chicago Blackhawks
Adam Pineault
To Columbus Blue Jackets
Michael Blunden
March 4, 2009
To Chicago Blackhawks
Samuel Pahlsson
Logan Stephenson
Conditional fourth-round pick
To Anaheim Ducks
James Wisniewski
Petri Kontiola

Free agents

Player Former team Contract terms
Brian Campbell San Jose Sharks 8 years, $56.8 million
Cristobal Huet[20] Washington Capitals 4 year, $22.5 million
Matt Walker St. Louis Blues 1 year, $600,000
Aaron Johnson New York Islanders 1 year, $525,000
Doug Janik Tampa Bay Lightning 1 year, $500,000
Player New team
David Koci Tampa Bay Lightning
Patrick Lalime Buffalo Sabres
Jason Williams Atlanta Thrashers

Draft picks

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft was hosted at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario on June 20 and 21. With the eleventh pick in the first round, the Blackhawks selected Kyle Beach from the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. The Blackhawks drafted seven players (five defensemen and two forwards) in five of the seven rounds. All of the prospects were returned to their junior or professional league by the end of training camp.

Round # Player Position Nationality College/junior/club team (league)
1 11 Kyle Beach (LW)  Canada Everett Silvertips (WHL)
3 68 (from Toronto via NY Islanders) Shawn Lalonde (D)  Canada Belleville Bulls (OHL)
5 132 Teigan Zahn (D)  Canada Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
6 162 Jonathan Carlsson (D)  Sweden Brynäs IF (Elitserien)
6 169 (from Ottawa) Ben Smith (RW)  United States Boston College (Hockey East)
6 179 (from Dallas via Los Angeles) Braden Birch (D)  Canada Oakville Blades (OPJHL)
7 192 Joe Gleason (D)  United States Edina High School (USHS-Minnesota)

See also

External links

  • Chicago Blackhawks official site
  • Regular season statistics
  • Season schedule and results


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