In the long storied history of the Chicago Blackhawks, there have been a plethora of stars who happened to be American. With the country about to celebrate the 4th of July, what a great time to look back at many of those stars who represented the Stars and Stripes. Today’s feature looks at Tony Amonte and Jeremy Roenick. (Also, how many of you remember that ESPN commercial with Roenick and Amonte?)
Roenick Was a Blackhawks Legend
Before there was a Patrick Kane, Jeremy Roenick was the flashy Blackhawks star with swagger. In a league that allowed blatant holding and “clutching and grabbing,” Roenick scored 20 or more goals in 12 of 13 seasons, with the one season only due to a strike that wiped out half the season.
Roenick burst onto the scene 1990-91 when he potted 41 goals. He had 53 for an encore in 1991-92 when the Blackhawks went to the Stanley Cup Final. A season later, he’d hit 50 again on the nose. In a three-year span, Roenick would tally 149 goals for Chicago and cement himself as one of its best scorers in the organization’s history.
In that same stretch of goals, Roenick had 103, 107, and 107 points consecutively. To this day, he’s the only Blackhawks player in franchise history to pull off such a feat.
Contract squabbling led to Roenick’s ouster, a deal to Arizona (then Phoenix) that netted the Blackhawks Alexi Zhamnov. The name likely causes some long time Blackhawks fans to go into the fetal position. He never became the player Chicago hoped while Roenick helped lead Arizona to the playoffs for five consecutive seasons before stops in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Jose.
Roenick has yet to get a call from the Hall, which to be honest, is shocking. But there’s no denying his importance in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks, especially as one of its most prominent American players.
Trading for Amonte Was a Boon
Amonte started out hot for the New York Rangers, scoring 68 goals combined in two seasons. But he cooled off and was traded to Chicago for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan. The former would score one of the biggest goals in New York Rangers history, a call that remains legendary to the Blueshirts faithful to this day.
Amonte would go on to score a ton of goals for the Chicago Blackhawks. For six consecutive seasons, Amonte scored 30 or more goals for the Blackhawks, tallying up 225 in that span and just missing a seventh consecutive season (27). Amonte’s long hair and quick shot dazzled fans as he and Roenick were a formidable duo when together until Roenick’s trade.
Amonte would also end up in the Desert, signing with the Coyotes in 2002.