Patrick Kane (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday met with an odd mixture of derision and joy in the Windy City, but when you’re in Chicago, and the river is dyed green and the parade floats are marching down Columbus Avenue, the city is truly in fine form.
In honor of this most-discussed holiday, it seems appropriate to take a step back from the current incarnation of the Chicago Blackhawks, and name the All-Time St. Patrick’s Day team for this franchise.
No, we won’t just be going through and giving out plaudits to those guys whose first name is Patrick (sorry, Sharp and Kane) or passing out high fives to those with Irish-sounding last names (sorry, Basil McRae). Instead, we will be focusing on the guys who donned jerseys with the numbers 3 and 17 on them during their careers with the Blackhawks.
George Gee, #17 (1945-49, 1951-54)
In his two stints with the Blackhawks, Gee was a solid scorer for the club, racking up 18 or more goals three times, including 20 in the 46-47 campaign. He also accumulated 99 penalty minutes in the 1952-53 season, so to say that he at least had an Irish temper wouldn’t be a stretch.
Joe Murphy, #17 (1992-96)
Not only does Murphy have an excellent Irish name, but he was a really solid scorer for the Blackhawks. In four seasons in the Windy City, Murphy scored 83 goals in 210 games, and also accumulated a ludicrous amount of penalty minutes, totaling 304 of them over that span. He also had a remarkable 19 power play assists for the 93-94 squad.
Kenny Wharham, #17 (1951-69)
Wharham did not wear the number 17 sweater for his entire Hawks career, but he is still the longest tenured member of the club that did. In his career with the Hawks, he eclipsed 30 goals three times, including 39 in the 1963-64 season, and scored 14 power play goals that season as well. He ended up scoring a total of 252 times in a Hawks uniform.
Pierre Pilote, #3 (1955-68)
The two blue liners on this team are pretty obvious. Pilote not only had his number retired by the Blackhawks in 2008, but he also was elected to the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975. His best season came in the 1964-65 campaign, scoring 14 times and adding 45 assists. He also racked up 162 penalty minutes, leaving one to wonder how exactly he was able to tally nearly a point per game in the process.
Keith Magnuson, #3 (1969-80)
Magnuson was the other man honored when the Hawks raised the number 3 to the rafters on that 2008 night against the Boston Bruins, but for different reasons. He was never a prolific scorer, tallying 24 points in his rookie year as a career high, but he did have a penchant for dropping the gloves. In his time with Chicago, Magnuson had 1442 penalty minutes, including 291 in the 1970-71 season.
Here is a video the Blackhawks put together when they honored Magnuson and Pilote in 2008: