Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for reaching the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992. They'll face either the Philadelphia Flyers or the Montreal Canadiens. My family moved to the Chicagoland area in 1999, right in the middle of what might best be termed a full-blown franchise collapse. Then-owner Bill Wirtz was bleeding the team dry, and every developing player was either immediately traded or lost in free agency. They made the playoffs in 2002, bowing out in five games against a superior St. Louis team - a squad coached by current Hawks generalissimo Joel Quennville - before returning once again to the basement of the Western conference.
My family had season tickets for a few years. We let them go because the team wasn't worth watching. The revival of the organization from the top down over the last three years has been nothing short of amazing. I don't want to go into it too deeply, because we've still got one series left to take, but needless to say, days like today make all of those years of struggling worth it.
Let's go Hawks!