News News/Local

Hawks' early training: Cigarettes and sitting around

Oh, Hawks, how far you’ve come.

In a simpler time, when sports chatter was confined to radio waves and ink on dead trees, the Blackhawks kissed their first Stanley Cup. The year was 1934, and hockey still was a novelty from up north, at least according to the pages of the recently digitally archived magazine called Chicagoan.

The University of Chicago Library was recently part of an effort to digitize the Jazz-age magazine, which mirrored the style of the New Yorker. Published from 1926 to 1935, the publication ran the gamut on covering the Chicago scene, sports most certainly included.

As the Hawks look to add another set of names to the fabled Cup this, the pages of the Chicagoan reveal some interesting -- and bizarre -- tales of the first championship team. Here are some highlights and a throwback-style guide to Chicago’s (really) early hockey days.

>> The Chicagoan has plenty of bits about the Hawks, but you’ve got to know how to look. The mag referred to the team as both Blackhawks and Black Hawks, so search both for the full reading list

>> Patrick Kane solidified the final goal to win the Cup in 2010. The guy who slapped the final puck in the net in 1934? The extremely intimidating sounding Mush March.

>> Hawks then-General Manager Major Frederic McLaughlin literally was a target for Hawks players. McLaughlin apparently stood scowling behind the enemy goal each game, causing one anonymous Hawks player to be quoted saying “Every time I go down to shoot, I see that horse face behind the goal and I want to shoot the puck right at it."

>> This era's morning skates and Jonny’s Ice House were unheard of for the Blackhawks of old. An article credits McLaughlin for the novel idea of hiring trainers for the players. Before that, the article notes players’ off season training consisted of “smoking cigarettes and finding places to park their feet." It was so bad, the article says one of McLaughlin’s managers advised against both running and walking, as it “would bring kinks to their leg muscles."

>> One journalist for the Chicagoan had to humble himself after the Hawks took the Cup for the first time. “Wronger than hell” was the way writer Kenneth D. Fry described his predictions. He thought the Hawks would break even at best on the season.

Want more? The Chicagoan has plenty more bits about the Hawks and other early Chicago sports teams here.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann watched the world change from behind his drum kit, shoveling coal in the wildly tribal rhythm section as the Dead went from San Francisco underground curio to ground-breaking indie outfit, then progenitor of the improvisation-based rock...

  • Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    The cliché that colors every good rock star story is “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." For the Grateful Dead, the trailblazing rock band known for its improvisational style, revelatory live shows and dedicated fanbase, there was that and so much more.

  • 10 best movies of 2015 so far

    10 best movies of 2015 so far

    The year’s half over! How did that happen? No idea. With six months of a good year of movies in the books, let’s see how the Top 10 list is looking, with a quote from each respective review. Note: There are a few I’ve seen that I really like that haven’t yet opened in Chicago, and those aren’t...

  • If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    Nearly 5 million more Americans would qualify for overtime pay under new rules proposed Tuesday by the Obama administration, a long-anticipated move expected to affect a broad swath of salaried employees from store managers to social workers to restaurant shift supervisors.

  • Chicago's minimum wage increase attracting workers to city

    Chicago's minimum wage increase attracting workers to city

    Unlike previous summers, UniStaff is experiencing a spike in job applicants at its Little Village location, a trend the branch manager says is tied to the city's minimum wage increase to $10 per hour beginning Wednesday.

  • 'The Bachelorette' episode 7 recap: How many meltdowns can Shawn have in one week?

    'The Bachelorette' episode 7 recap: How many meltdowns can Shawn have in one week?

    Welcome to RedEye’s coverage of “The Bachelorette,” arguably the most misogynistic show on television! The format is pretty simple: Five women of RedEye each drafted five of the 25 competing men. Everyone gets one point for every man who gets through each week. If you ever want your daughter to...

Comments
Loading