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If the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, is it fair to call them a dynasty?

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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Yes

With the Blackhawks’ inevitable claiming of the Stanley Cup sometime this week, it’s time to revisit a topic that was last suggested in 2013. Justifiably, the notion was dismissed as premature, but the Blackhawks are now irrefutably on the brink of becoming a “dynasty.”

Having won titles in 2010 and 2013, a Stanley Cup victory in 2015 would give Chicago championships in half of the last six seasons. In fact, three titles in six seasons was a feat that was last accomplished by the Red Wings of the late-90s and early 2000s, who are largely considered to be the last NHL dynasty.

But, as the kids say, pause dat. These Blackhawks are not only collecting trophies, they are doing so while operating in a vastly different NHL landscape and with a uniquely homegrown core of players, which sets itself apart from other NHL dynasties.

The lockout of 2005 led to the NHL joining the 21st century and setting a salary cap (you do you, baseball), which leveled the playing field around the league and also put more pressure on the various front offices to find cheap, efficient labor via the draft.

To the credit of general manager Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks of the this era are indeed one game from distinguished territory historically and are also in position to maintain their dominance.

Chicago draftees Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Corey Crawford are all inked for at least four or five more seasons, fellow stars Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have long-term deals, and restricted free agent Brandon Saad is likely to re-sign in the off-season.

If and when the Blackhawks can close out this series, they will become a dynasty of hockey lore, and it’ll only be the beginning.

— Kyle Mann

No

While three championships in six years could potentially be one hell of an accomplishment for the Chicago Blackhawks, winning a Stanley Cup this week doesn’t make the team a dynasty — not yet, at least.

Currently, the NHL Hall of Fame officially recognizes nine teams as dynasties: the 1919-27 Ottawa Senators, the 1946-51 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1949-55 Detroit Red Wings, the 1955-60 Montréal Canadiens, the 1962-67 Maple Leafs, the 1964-69 Canadiens, the 1975-79 Canadiens, the 1980-83 New York Islanders and the 1983-90 Edmonton Oilers.

Each one of those teams won at least four championships, and two — the 1955-60 Canadiens and the 1983-90 Oilers — won five.

As of now, the Blackhawks have just two, and calling them a dynasty is extremely premature. After all, they have yet to finish off a tough Tampa Bay team and win the third cup that some outlets seem to be handing to them already.

The number of championships a team wins is how —unfairly or not— dynasties are ultimately defined. While there is something to be said about the number of wins a team gets or even its average margin of victory and regular-season record, history remembers just one thing — the number of rings that team won.

For example, Peyton Manning’s 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts were consistently great — but not a dynasty simply because they won just one Super Bowl during that time period. It’s probably unfair and does a huge disservice to great players, but the only thing that really sticks in the general public’s mind is championships.

With that said, Chicago is much closer to legendary status than those Colts (or most teams, for that matter). A win this year certainly helps the Blackhawks’ case to be the 10th hockey dynasty, but it will take at least one more Stanley Cup in the next couple years to solidify their place in history.

— Jordan Hansen


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