They will walk together forever.
But first the 2010 Blackhawks will skate together one last time in the "Champs for Charity" exhibition game Friday night at Allstate Arena.
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The game, against a group of NHL all-stars, was the brainchild of ex-Hawk Adam Burish and his agent Bill Zito, with both men hoping it raises a boatload of money for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
"I was like, 'Go find me a part-time job, I'll go work in a rink, I don't care,'" Burish said of his initial talk with Zito. "Sign me up for a charity. He said why don't you put together a charity game if you need something to do. Call your old buddies from Chicago.
"I sent out 23 emails and in an hour about 10 or 12 guys got back to me and said they would love to play. Everybody is looking for a skate. Billy had a relationship with the Ronald McDonald House and called them and they said if you guys are willing to do this, it could be great."
All 100 VIP and glass tickets sold out in four minutes at $500 a pop. There are still tickets available in other price areas, starting at $10.
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane off the current Hawks roster have committed to play as well as 2010 Cup winners John Madden, Brian Campbell, Troy Brouwer, Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ladd. Dustin Byfuglien is expected to play.
"It's going to be amazing," Toews said. "Whether it's sometime in the summer, someone's getting married or a golf tournament or whatever, there's always that strong bond between those teammates -- the guys we won with in 2010 -- especially since so many guys left so quickly. When we're together, we enjoy living in the past a little bit."
This will be the first time all the 2010 Hawks have skated together since that June night in Philadelphia when they snapped the organization's 49-year Stanley Cup drought.
"Anybody that has won a championship will tell you it creates a completely different kind of bond that you've never had with any team," Burish said. "The last time all of us were together with no media, no family, no cameras, no coaches was the flight home from Philadelphia. That was the last time we were all together, just us in the back of the plane with the Stanley Cup. My hope for this game here was a chance to do that again. At least we're all on the same team again."
Everyone knows the story about that team being broken up for salary cap reasons, but it's a group that has remained close while scattered around the league.
"From a selfish standpoint, I miss a lot of things," Burish said "I miss just being in the room with Patrick Sharp. I miss him on the road being my roommate. I miss going to dinner with Patrick Kane and talking about the game. I miss watching Jonathan Toews and how he works and how he prepares, and making fun of him. I miss Big Buff's careless attitude.
"From a personal standpoint, you miss those things, but am I angry or bitter about it? No, we all signed up to play and you know that stuff can happen. Even on that plane ride home from Philadelphia guys were talking about it. Guys realized it was coming, that guys were going to have to leave. That's how it goes. Just the fact that we had that opportunity to do something special like that, that's good enough for me."
Burish has no idea how long it will take to settle the lockout.
"Here's the thing: We want to play hockey just as bad as every fan wants to see hockey, but we can't control that right now," Burish said. "All we can control is putting on the best hockey game on that day."