Time for Blackhawks to really think big

  • Michal Rozsival hoists the Stanley Cup after the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

    Michal Rozsival hoists the Stanley Cup after the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night. Associated Press

Updated 6/26/2013 5:07 AM

As Hawk Harrelson might suggest to the Blackhawks, "Don't stop now, boys."

This Hawks' run to their second Stanley Cup championship in four years was too much fun to not do it again and again.


Go someplace like the eye doctor and the staff is dressed in Hawks colors, along with some of the patients.

Go to Jewel and there's 10 percent off your bill if you're wearing a Hawks hat or shirt, though no mention was made of unmentionables.

Go to breakfast at a diner like the Prospect Heights Grill and Hawks merchandise is being sold out of a temporary stand in the parking lot.

A Blackhawks presence was just about everywhere, and it united people like Chicagoland was one big United Center.

So congratulations, fellas.

Now repeat next season.

And the season after and season after and season after.

OK, that's asking a lot. It's hard to win one title, much less two in four years, much less more than that.

In recent history only the 1990s Bulls among Chicago champions were able to sustain success with two threepeats interrupted only by Michael Jordan's first retirement.

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The Blackhawks' assignment is to be the Bulls. If they need immediate incentive, consider that oddsmaker Bovada favors the Penguins over them to win the 2014 Stanley Cup.

The Hawks' championship infrastructure is in place: Chairman Rocky Wirtz, club president John McDonough, biz wiz Jay Blunk, general manager Stan Bowman, head coach Joel Quenneville and team captain Jonathan Toews.

This core in uniform is young, starting with the 25-year-old Toews and 24-year-old Patrick Kane, a couple of award winners in this award-winning season.

My goodness, Toews and Kane already have won two NHL championships, and a case could be made that their careers are just getting started.

During the Stanley Cup Final against Boston, so many of the Bruins looked like they had hockey faces with beastly expressions.


Toews and Kane are babyfaced by comparison, but they not only stole the Bruins' cookies but skated off with the cookie jar as well.

Then there are core defensemen Duncan Keith just about to turn 30, Brent Seabrook at 28 and Niklas Hjalmarsson at 26. Veteran Patrick Sharp is a spry senior at 31. Marian Hossa's game might be starting to age at 34, but Brandon Saad is coming hard at 20.

Overall this hockey team has a lot more life left, and judging by the last four seasons the key players will be committed to making the most of it.

Heck, if the Hawks could take a huge salary-cap hit after their first championship and rebuild this quickly, continuing the roll should be a shot at an open net.

Wirtz says the Hawks still lose money, but a good guess is that these Stanley Cup victories are intoxicating enough that to add on the family will keep anteing up for as long as it takes to turn a profit.

The goal -- the One Goal, as the slogan goes -- has to be to become those Bulls of hockey, the Yankees of winter, a historic NHL juggernaut like Montreal and Edmonton once were.

The Hawks do have the makings of a dynasty that can compete for a Stanley Cup every year for the rest of this decade.

If sports fans around here are lucky, the Hawks will be greedy and selfish and try to win it all no less than all of the time.

As LeBron James might suggest to the Blackhawks, "Not one, not two, not three…"

Go for it, fellas.


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