A look at some key members of the 1960-61 Black Hawks, the last Chicago team to win the Stanley Cup:
Glenn Hall, goaltender: Born in Humboldt, Sask., Hall is 78 now and lives on a farm near Stony Plain, Alta. Hall got most of the credit for the first-round elimination of Montreal in 1961, posting shutouts in the closing two games, and was just as good in the final against Detroit. The five-foot-11 goalie was rookie of the year with Detroit in 1956 and was traded to Chicago in 1958. He was one of the first to use a butterfly technique. He set an NHL record by playing 502 consecutive complete games. He never wore a mask or a helmet during the streak. Hall, who was so good that he was nicknamed Mr. Goalie, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975. He was goaltending coach for the Calgary Flames when they won the Stanley Cup in 1989.
Stan Mikita, centre: Born in Sokolce, Slovakia, Mikita is 70 now and lives in the Chicago region. He worked for a golf club for many years and now is a community ambassador for the Blackhawks and owns his own business. His six goals were most scored by any player in ’61 playoffs. He played his entire NHL career, from 1958 to 1980, with Chicago, twice being named MVP and four times winning the scoring title. Mikita was one of the first players to use a curved blade on his stick. The five-foot-nine centre was considered the best at his position in the NHL in the decade of the 1960. Born in what is now Slovakia as Stanislav Guoth, he was sent to live with relatives named Mikita in St. Catharines because his birth parents wanted to save him from communism. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
Bobby Hull, right-winger: Born in Pointe Anne, Ont., which is now part of Belleville, the 71-year-old Hull lives in Florida and is a community ambassador for the Blackhawks today. Hull joined the Hawks in 1957 at age 18 out of the team’s junior farm team in St. Catharines. He would go on to win three NHL scoring titles and the MVP award in 1965 and 1966. His dashing forays into opposition zones in ’61 playoffs kept defences wary. He was the first NHL player to score more than 50 goals in a season. The muscular five-foot-10 winger was regarded as one of the most sensationally entertaining players of the 1960s. His jump to the rival World Hockey Association in the early 1970s gave the new loop instant credibility. Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame with Mikita in 1993.
Pierre Pilote, defenceman:Pilote was born in Kenogami, Que., and grew up in Fort Erie, Ont. His rise to prominence was incredible considering he did not play his first game of organized hockey until he was 17. He’s 78 now and has a farm in Milton, Ont. The tandem of the five-foot-10 Pilote and the much bigger Elmer Vasko was one of the NHL’s best. Pilote tied with Detroit’s Gordie Howe for most post-season points with 15 (3-12) during Chicago’s 1961 playoff run. Pilote was named captain in Chicago prior to the 1961-62 season. He was three times named best defenceman by the NHL and in 1975 was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Murray Balfour, forward: Born in Regina, Balfour played on what was dubbed The Million Dollar Line with Bobby Hull and Bill Hay during Chicago’s championship season. Balfour scored some key playoff goals including a triple-overtime winner over Montreal in the ’61 semifinals that was a turning point in the series. Balfour couldn’t play the last game of the final in Detroit because was tripped in third period of Game 5 in Chicago by Howie Young, crashed into a post, and broke his left forearm. He died of lung cancer at age 28 on May 30, 1965.
A look at where the rest of the Hawks are today:
Al Arbour, defenceman: Retired NHL coach, living in Florida
Earl Balfour, left-winger: Whereabouts unknown
Denis Dejordy, goalie: Living in Quebec
Bill Hay, centre: Chairman of Hockey Hall of Fame, living in Toronto
Wayne Hicks, right-winger: Whereabouts unknown
Ed Litzenberger, right-winger: Living in Toronto
Chico Maki, right-winger, living in Simco, Ont.
Ab McDonald, left-winger: Living in Winnipeg
Ron Murphy, left-winger: Living in Nanticoke, Ont.
Eric Nesterenko, centre: Ski instructor, living in Vail, Colo.
Tod Sloan, centre: Living in Sutton, Ont.
Dollard St. Laurent, defenceman: Living in Montreal
Kenny Wharram, centre: Living in North Bay, Ont.
Jack Evans, defenceman; Reggie Fleming, defenceman, Wayne Hillman, defenceman, Elmer Vasco, defenceman; Tommy Ivan, general manager, Rudy Pilous, coach: All deceased.
(Source for list: Chicago Blackhawks)