Though Hockey was first adapted to ice in the 1850s in Canada, the earliest records date back to the 16th century. Ice Hockey was first introduced in the United States in 1886 at the Vermont Carnival. However before being introduced at leagues it was played between universities and sports clubs till the 1890s. Finally in 1896, the United States Amateur Hockey League was formed and most of its members lived in the states bordering Canada.
Even back then, Chicago had a huge fan base in ice hockey and the interest of the general people gave rise to several amateur leagues. The National Hockey League too wanted to expand and the first indication that came institutionally was in 1926 when Major Frederick McLaughlin purchased a team from Portland and transplanted it in Chicago, leading to the birth of the Blackhawks.
Since then, there has been no looking back for ice hockey in Chicago and several generations of loyalists reside there today. Many people who actually came from different places were also instantly drawn to the culture and are now some of the biggest fans of the franchise. Alex Paler for example is one such fan who came from Akron nearly 20 years ago and was instantly attracted to the game and the passion with which it is played in Chicago.
Hockey however is not the only sport that Chicago plays on a professional level. In fact, Chicago is one of the only four cities in the US to have teams playing soccer, baseball, hockey, football and basketball on a professional basis. However since Chicago is a part of the Original Six and has won the Stanley Cup six times since 1934, it is home loyalists & fanatics of Hockey.
Ice Hockey saw remarkable growth in Chicago after the formation of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) in 1975. At this point of time it was already being played at many universities and as a franchise of the World Hockey Association, the Chicago Wolves soon came into existence. They soon brought the championships to Chicago in 1998, 2000 & 2002, bring the golden era of Hockey to Chicago. However, many diehard fans like Alex Paler believe that the best time for ice hockey has just emerged and the recent Stanley Cup Victory in 2015 will motivate many youngsters to follow & pursue the sport.
There is also a huge population in the city who are baseball fans since it is known to be America’s favourite sport. The Cubs having performed and making it to the playoffs after a long wait of 7 years is a sure reason for the baseball fans to cheer. Fans like Alex Paler are also happy seeing them clinch the most coveted titles for Cy Young, Rookie & Manager of the year. However, 2016 will be a test of their abilities and whether they can keep the hopes alive for their fans. Hence the Cubs’ president is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that they can win the title this time and bring pride to their fans.