As the Chicago Blackhawks ready the rafters to hang another championship banner, the crew at the United Center will also have to make room next to #9, #21, #18, #35 and others. The team has announced that after bringing the Stanley Cup home twice in four years, the Hawks will retire the letter ‘Q,’ for Coach Joel Quenneville.
“We all know what Coach Q has contributed to this team,” said Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz. “And no one has owned a letter in Chicago like this since Kerry Wood was ‘Kid K.’”
“And besides, if we tried to retire a mustache in Chicago, there would be chaos in the streets.”
The Hawks have retired seven numbers, ranging from Glenn “Mr. Goalie” Hull’s #1, to Tony Esposito’s #35. Stan Mikita (#21) and Bobby Hull (#9) were the first Hawks to receive the honor in the early ’80s. But this unprecedented move would make the team the first pro club to ever retire a letter of the alphabet, and would likely also mean elite players like Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist would be ineligible to don a Hawks sweater without visiting the county registrar first.
“I think this is a great idea,” said Bobby Hull, reached by phone. “I think the more up there hanging alongside my number, the merrier.”