The Blackhawks announced their promotional calendar Thursday with several giveaways. Let’s rank them from best to worst:
Anniversary Series: Replica Ring (March 19 vs. Wild)
- The Blackhawks saved the best for last with this one for their Anniversary Nights, and it’s against an opponent they should beat. This night will also have an on-ice celebration with players from the 2010 Stanley Cup team. Will Nick Boynton be there?
Anniversary Series: Bobbleheads
- All five bobbleheads — including Patrick Kane’s at Training Camp Festival — will be worth showing up for. Only Kane’s bobblehead design is known, though.
Marian Hossa (Oct. 18 vs. Blue Jackets)
Brent Seabrook (Nov. 21 vs. Lightning)
Duncan Keith (Dec. 15 vs. Wild)
Jonathan Toews (Jan. 7 vs. Flames)
United Center 25th Anniversary snow globe (Dec. 18 vs. Avalanche)
- The United Center turns 25 years old Aug. 18 and both teams that call it home will mark the anniversary this season. The first major event at the United Center? WWF’s 1994 SummerSlam. The Blackhawks won their first game at the UC, with a 5-1 victory over the Oilers on Jan. 25, 1995. The anniversary of the game falls during the team’s bye week, and they’re in Toronto on Jan. 18, so they opted for Dec. 18 against Colorado to mark the occasion.
Alternate Jerseys Series: Winter scarf (Jan. 21 vs. Panthers)
- I’m a football/soccer (whatever you want to call it) fan, so scarves are a thing for me. Hopefully the team fixed the spacing on the logo and the fourth feather isn’t touching the edge.
Alternate Jerseys Series: Knit hat (March 3 vs. Ducks)
- A knit hat with a pom is the best winter hat. It can still be cold in March in the Chicagoland area, but having this giveaway earlier in the winter would make more sense.
John Weideman and Troy Murray bobblehead (Oct. 20 vs. Capitals)
- Consider this the start of a lower tier in the ‘good’ category. Weideman and Murray do a great job calling games on radio and don’t get enough recognition for it. The downside of this night is you’ll have to watch the Blackhawks play against the Capitals, who have one of the worst jerseys and logos in the league.
Blackhawks wireless charger (Nov. 17 vs. Sabres)
- Losing a cellphone charger is a tradition unlike any other, and it’s always good to have an extra one.
Short Tumbler (Feb. 5 vs. Bruins), water bottle (March 11 vs. Sharks)
- These are two useful and reusable items with a long shelf life.
DeBrincat and Strome Salt & Pepper Shakers (Nov. 19 vs. Hurricanes)
- This should be a good giveaway and all, but the Hawks play the Stars the day after the one-year anniversary of the Strome trade (Nov. 25) to Chicago. That would’ve been a great date for this, or they could’ve pushed it, pushed it real good to Dec. 8 against the Coyotes.
Eddie Olczyk bobblehead (Oct. 27 vs. Kings)
- Fans either like Olczyk or they’re tired of him. For those that fall in the former category this will be a nice giveaway on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. A separate Pat Foley bobblehead night would’ve been great, too.
Alternate Jerseys Series: Shirt (Dec. 2 vs. Blues)
- It’s a T-shirt, meh. It could be a good last-minute gift for someone though.
Duncan Keith floss holder (March 5 vs. Oilers)
- Dental hygiene is important, but this gets knocked down because it should be on a different game night against a different opponent — the Sharks. The Blackhawks play the Sharks just a week after this game. Keith lost seven teeth during Game 4 of the Western Conference Final in 2010 against San Jose.
Blackhawks baseball hat (Nov. 7 vs. Canucks)
- Doing this giveaway after the World Series seems odd, no?
Retro Hat Series
- This giveaway is in partnership with Bud Light and only fans 21 years old and older can receive it at the door. That takes it down a few pegs because it’s not inclusive for all fans. The team does get a few points for scheduling the 1970s and 1990s hat giveaways on game nights against teams that won back-to-back Cups those decades.
70s (Oct. 24 vs. Flyers)
80s (Jan. 9 vs. Predators)
90s (March 25 vs. Penguins)
Blackhawks yearbook (Nov. 29 vs. Avalanche)
- Yearbooks, especially for a sports team, seem like an odd and outdated concept to me. It’s probably better for teams to sell these if a team wins it all.
Blackhawks metal lunchbox (March 8 vs. Blues)
- Do people still use metal lunchboxes?
Blackhawks team calendar (Oct. 14 vs. Oilers)
- It’s 2019, no one needs these any more when they can pull up the game schedule on their phone or go to their favorite Blackhawks news website, SecondCityHockey.com, to find out game information. But then again, maybe it’s fitting the Blackhawks are giving these worthless things away against the Oilers.
The really ugly
Blackhawks green hat (March 13 vs. Senators)
- It’s a good thing this game is against the Senators because it hopefully increases the likelihood of a hat trick and people throwing these hats (away) on the ice. A team that doesn’t wear green and has a divisional foe in the Stars, who wear it as their main color should never produce green hats even if it’s for St. Patrick’s Day.