In the latest installment of “Avalanche Storytime”, presented by the best hockey bar in town, Bender’s Bar and Grill, Adrian Dater takes a look back to the 1996 Western Conference semifinals against the Chicago Blackhawks, and some of the crazy maladies that afflicted the Blackhawks and helped the Avs on their march to the Stanley Cup.

The most famous of the incidents – or infamous, from the Chicago perspective – was the Game 4, double-overtime game in which Blackhawks star Chris Chelios couldn’t play because of an “equipment problem.”

Adrian Dater

Adrian Dater has been covering the Avs since their inception. In 2015, he became the lead NHL national columnist with Bleacher Report, where he worked until 2017 before joining BSN Denver.

  • Here is another little tidbit on Chelios and that 1996 playoff series. I was an Avalanche season ticket holder and worked downtown so I would work late on game nights and just head over to McNichols Arena instead of going all the way home and coming back. Consequently I almost always got to see the pre-game warmup skate. The Avs had a player named Chris Simon who was sort of an enforcer usually on Sakics line. He did score 16 goals that season so he wasn’t “just a goon”. Anyway at the end of the pre-game warmup he would always seek to be the last player on the ice allowing all his teammates as well as the opposing team players to leave before he did. He would then fling a puck down the ice at the opposite end goal as he left the rink Apparently Chelios knew about this little ritual so during the playoff series he and his buddies would either turn or flip the goal over so Simon could not shoot the puck into it. Just a little gamemanship I guess..

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