Ceremony to stir Tallon's emotions
It's going to be an emotional moment for Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon tonight when the late Keith Magnuson's No. 3 is retired and raised to the United Center rafters forever.
Not only was Tallon a close friend and former teammate, he was with late owner Bill Wirtz and former senior vice president Bob Pulford on the night of Dec. 15, 2003, when the three men went to the Magnuson home late in the night to inform Cindy Magnuson that her husband had been killed in an automobile accident in suburban Toronto.
"He was the heart and soul of this organization," Tallon said. "He loved every second of it. You loved being in his company. It was infectious. He gave everything he had, every minute of the day, to the logo, to the cause, to the players, to his friends, to his teammates. There was nothing he wouldn't do for them. Nothing."
Tallon had a career best 62 points playing with the Hawks with Magnuson as his defense partner in 1975-76.
"He was my first partner when I came to Chicago," Tallon said. "I would always tell him make sure nobody touches me."
Remembering the past: The present Hawks are looking forward to tonight's ceremony when jersey No. 3 is retired for Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson.
"It's always a good reminder of what we're playing for," captain Jonathan Toews said. "It's always good to remember the guys who were in this locker room before us."
Brian Campbell plays the same kind of offensive game as Pilote did more than 40 years ago when it was rare for defensemen to even cross the red line with the puck.
"There were a few guys that played like that, but I'm glad that somebody established it," Campbell said. "It's going to be an exciting night."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville seconded those thoughts.
"It's two guys that represented the organization with a lot of pride and tradition, and it's very warranted," Quenneville said. "It should make for a special night."
Tip-ins: Nikolai Khabibulin starts in goal for the first time in nine days. ... The power play is fourth in the NHL after going 12-for-40 in the last nine games. "You're going to have your ups and downs, so let's not get too carried away yet," Joel Quenneville said. ... Brent Sopel practiced Tuesday after missing Sunday's game against Calgary with an undisclosed injury.