Chicago has been deemed, “a hockey town in hibernation,” according to Jassen Cullimore, a defenseman for the Chciago Blackhawks.  He’s been with the team for two years, after coming from the Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.  He claims that Tampa’s rink is, “Electric,” and he aspires for the United Center to be the same.  What he doesn’t realize is this is hard to wish for considering hockey’s sorry state of affairs in this city.  In fact, they are so sorry, that when Cullimore discloses his profession to citizens on the street, they often apologize to him.  What has brought on such a display of disdain for Chicago Blackhawks hockey?

For starters, the Blackhawks have only had one winning season in the last ten years.  Winning breeds attention, losing breeds distention, and Chicago has raised plenty of the latter.  But, their performance on the ice is only the half of it.  The fact that the Hawks’ owner “blacks out” home games on television doesn’t win over many hearts either.  He’s done this in an effort to increase ticket sales, but the opposite has occurred, and he refuses to revert back to the old ways.  Hockey tickets (in Chicago) are more costly than any other sport.  People would compensate for this by watching their team on television.  Once this was taken from them, people felt (and they still do feel) an obligation to lash out by ceasing to support the franchise publicly.  People also hold grudges that haven’t yet healed when Chicago management traded fan favorites Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick away in return for virtually nothing.  Chicago hockey has been damaged so badly due to mismanagement, that not even a Stanley Cup victory would fill the stadium next year. 

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