Blackhawks ambassadors Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita have been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for two draft picks and cash. This marks the second time the Hawks have dealt a popular name to the Grand Canyon state. Jeremy Roenick was infamously sent west in exchange for Alexei Zhamnov and Craig Mills in August of 1996. The difference then was that Roenick was an active player.
What many fans would consider a shock move came down to simple business for the Blackhawks. Having recently constructed statues of Hull and Mikita, the physical presence of the two former Hawks will be assured throughout the team’s existence according to President and CEO John McDonough.
“The Coyotes on the other hand … they don’t have much notoriety around the league and have issues selling tickets at home,” said McDonough. “That’s where two former Hall of Famers can help get them the publicity they need.”
Statues aside, the personalities of Hull and Mikita will surely be missed by the Blackhawks faithful.
“Nothing beat the intermissions on TV when Bobby and Stan would get interviewed,” said fan Troy Duncan. “They had so many great stories to tell. Now it looks like I’ll have to attend more games at the UC so I can get that full experience back.”
If the draft picks pan out and the attendance in Phoenix doesn’t improve, this will likely be viewed as the shrewdest, most lopsided deal in the history of the NHL.