Editors note: Just because the Stars season is over doesn't mean we're done watching hockey. If anything we'll be watching even more as the first round gets cranked up. But we need a team. So the four of us over the next four days will present a different Western Conference team for your approval, and we'll vote on Wednesday before action begins. Here's Brandon Bibb with the first...
For those who haven't read my bio, I've been a hockey fan almost 25 years. The Stars just finished their 16th season in Dallas.
Do the math, and you'll figure out I became a hockey fan long before Norm Green even purchased the Stars and moved them south. I started out an Islanders fan because of a foosball hockey game that my parents bought me for Christmas one year. The game featured the Flyers and Islanders and I always played the Islanders.
As such, the Isles became my favorite team in very unconventional fashion. My second favorite team became a favorite through the more conventional method of television. In my case, it was through satellite television since my formative years as a hockey fan were spent in Oklahoma.
I had a number of choices in games to watch back then and other teams to root for. But for whatever reason, I was always captivated by the Blackhawks physical style and the raucous atmosphere of Chicago Stadium.
Mind you, since the Hawks didn't start televising regular season games with any regularity until last season, catching their games on the bird was tough. Fortunately, their radio home of WBBM was a 50,000 watt blowtorch that I could listen to in rural Oklahoma more times than not.
Yes, I've been a longtime dedicated fan of this recently tortured franchise. And now that the Stars have officially been eliminated from any playoff possibilities this season, I'm here to tell you why you should hop aboard the bandwagon that sports an Indian head dress, one of the best looking logos in all of sports.
Follow me after the jump for reasons why you should root for the Blackhawks in the playoffs:
1. First, for all you Red Wing haters out there, the Hawks represent the best chance any Western Conference team has of dethroning this evil empire of cephalod tossing fans.
Until they show they can overcome years of playoff failure, you can't count on the Sharks to overthrow the Wings. Likewise for Roberto Luongo and the Canucks.
The Coyotes are a nice story to behold in hockey this year. But they're too green to be up to the task. Not to mention, they appear to be on a first round crash course with the team nobody wants to face.
LA and Colorado are sliding, so that pretty much leaves the Hawks and the Predators as the two best bets to overtake the Wings in the West and end, for at least a season anyway, of their dominance.
And since I'm a homer...
2. Think you've been tortured as a Stars fan under the reign of Tom Hicks? Blackhawk fans know your pain all too well having rooted for the Hawks while openly despising Bill Wirtz. An owner so cheap that he was the last NHL owner to not locally televise his team's home games.
At least you can take solace that it'll simply take HSG's creditors to force him out and not something as uncomfortable as death.
His logic was that if fans were able to watch the games on television, they wouldn't be tempted to actually go to the games. Logic that his son, thankfully, reversed as soon as he could when he became the owner. Much to the shock of nobody, the team's season ticket base has risen from 3,400 at the start of the 2007-08 season to 14,000 this season. And that doesn't count the waiting list of 6,000 fans.
Yes, the story of hockey resurgence in Chicago certainly is one to behold. And one that Stars fans can look at and realistically think, "We can be here, too, if we can force out that bastard Tom Hicks!"