My first memories of the Blackhawks were walking up what seemed like 10 flights of stairs to the first balcony of the old Chicago Stadium. As a kid I would have trouble keeping up with my dad as we moved with the herd of other fans to reach our seats before the National Anthem.

Balcony 1. Section G. Row B. Seats 1-4.

I received my first jersey when I was 6 years old. No. 24: Doug Wilson.

Denis Savard, Murray Bannerman, Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte. These names were tossed in everyday conversation around my house because I breathed hockey.

This was my youth. And I now realize some of my greatest memories were made with the Blackhawks.

Watching Wayne Gretzky and the mighty Edmonton Oilers of the early 80s, a pregame fight between the Minnesota North Stars and Blackhawks years later, the 1991 All-Star Game followed by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins raising the Stanley Cup in 1992, the excitement of J.R. and the final game played in the “old barn” during the 1994 playoffs.