The alumni contest between the Chicago Blackhawks and hometown Minnesota Wild/North Stars is shaping up to be a great one. The game will feature Hall of Famers Mike Modano, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios and Denis Savard, as well as greats like Neal Broten, Jeremy Roenick and Dennis Maruk. Among those representing the Wild are Brian Rolston, Wes Walz and Andrew Brunette.
The Winter Classic alumni game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens is going to be a star-studded affair, but the contest between former members of the Chicago Blackhawks and combination of Minnesota North Stars and Wild promises to have just as much star power. Both the Blackhawks and Wild announced their alumni teams Tuesday, and the rosters include some all-time greats from the Blackhawks, Wild and North Stars organizations. Nearly 50 alumni will be taking part in the event, including arguably three of the greatest American born players of all-time. For the Minnesota alumni, longtime Dallas Star
Mike Modano, who was drafted first overall by the North Stars in 1988, will be taking part in the game, and he’ll suit up across from fellow American born stars
Chris Chelios and
Jeremy Roenick, both of whom had some of their best years as members of the Blackhawks.
It was a smart move by the Wild to invite North Stars alumni to take place in the contest, as it helps bring back some of the greats who began their careers in Minnesota. One great example is Neal Broten, who will suit up in the contest and is one of the greatest Minnesota-born players in NHL history. A second-round pick of the North Stars in 1979, Broten is the second-highest scorer in North Stars/Stars history with 274 goals and 867 points. Other all-time North Stars franchise leaders joining Broten and all-time leader Modano are Brian Bellows, Dino Ciccarelli and Bobby Smith, who make up the entire top-five in the combined history of the Stars and North Stars. The Blackhawks also have a few of their franchise leaders taking part in the alumni game. With Dennis Savard in the lineup along with Roenick, Chicago will have two of the top 10 scorers in franchise history suiting up. Savard, who played 13 seasons in Chicago, scored 377 goals and 1,096 points as a Blackhawk, the third-most of any player in franchise history. Roenick’s 267 goals and 596 points rank eighth, just one point ahead of current Blackhawk
Patrick Kane. Another name that pops on the Blackhawks’ roster is
Eric Daze, who was forced to end his career early after struggling with a back injury. Daze was a four-time 30-goal scorer for Chicago and notched at least 20 goals in each of his eight full seasons with the Blackhawks, but he called it a career after a one-game attempt at a comeback in the 2005-06 season. Daze’s 226 goals are the 13th most in Blackhawks history. The Wild don’t have many big time alumni quite yet — the franchise is still relatively young — but they will be represented by
Richard Park and
Brad Bombardir. There are a few interesting names who’ve been included by both sides. Andrew Brunette, for instance, finished his NHL career as a member of the Blackhawks in 2010-11. He spent six seasons with the Wild, though, and will be suiting up against the Blackhawks alumni group. The same goes for Craig Hartsburg, who coach of the Blackhawks for three seasons but will be lining up for the North Stars, with whom he played his entire NHL career. Chicago will have two alumni members from the Stanley Cup era teams involved in the game, as
Brent Sopel (2010) and
Jamal Mayers (2013) will be playing for the Blackhawks alumni. Coaching the Wild/North Stars group will be Lou Nanne, Tom Reid and Mike Ramsey, who was an assistant with the Wild for eight seasons. For the Blackhawks, Hall of Fame broadcaster Pat Foley will be joined behind the bench by Hall of Fame netminder Tony Esposito. The game will be played Feb. 20 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota. Check out complete rosters below,