Friday, April 19, 2024

Blackhawks Planning United Center’s Event Of The Year Sunday

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While it hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for the Blackhawks on the ice, much of the hype around the United Center all year has been the much-anticipated jersey retirement ceremony of Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios. The event, which was announced by Pearl Jam in a Chicago concert back in September, will be held on Sunday.

The highlight of the afternoon, of course, will be Chelios’ No. 7 sweater being raised to the rafters, but the actual ceremony is only one part of a celebration that has already begun. On Feb. 9, a Cheli’s Chili pop-up opened in the United Center atrium, a nod to the Chelios-owned former restaurant at 1137 W. Madison St., which has been open at each Blackhawks home game in the month of February.

The stars will be out at the UC before the puck drops in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Red Wings. Pat Foley is scheduled to host a panel discussion in the atrium with Chelios along with former teammates Ed Belfour, Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte, and Denis Savard.

The list of hometown heroes who will be in the building doesn’t end there. After being absent from the Bulls’ Ring of Honor ceremony this year, Michael Jordan is expected to make an appearance, Chelios said Thursday.

The atmosphere in the United Center will no doubt be electric on Sunday, as Chelios was truly one of the greatest Blackhawks in the franchise’s illustrious history. The three-time Norris Trophy winner appeared in 11 All-Star Games throughout his NHL career, which spanned from 1984 to 2010. Before his retirement, he became the second-oldest player to play in an NHL game behind only Gordie Howe.

The entertainment on the ice on Sunday may be just as interesting. With the Red Wings in town, the game represents the first opportunity for Chicago legend Patrick Kane to play his first game in the UC as a visitor. Kane’s sweater will eventually make its way into the rafters as well, but for now, he’ll be on the ice in what’s sure to be an emotional return. The superstar logged 16 seasons of his own in Chicago, playing a huge role in bringing the franchise three Stanley Cups in six years.

There’s more happening at the United Center Sunday to get fans in the door than just the free replica No. 7 banner given to the first 10,000 spectators. With stars like Michael Jordan in the building, a legend being honored, and the return of one of the greats, Sunday will be a game to remember, no matter the final score.

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Hehateme30
Feb 24, 2024 9:33 am

Tough to see. I have watched the Blackhawks since 1969 when I was a lad. I sat on the back steps at my house crying, after the Blackhawks lost the Stanley Cup final in 71, when Henri Richard killed them with 2 goals. Then helped my father paint the back porch, tears falling into the paint. I went through the Orville Tessier/Mike Keenan years and experienced the joys of Savard, Secord and Larmer. Larmer should be in the HOF . I saw Chelios get traded to the Hawks. he played great and was an awesome leader for them. However, I… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Hehateme30

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