Willowdale Sports Club

PO Box 543, 3299 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M2K 2Y5

Willowdale Blackhawks logo

Black Hawks or Blackhawks?

Apparently the name of our teams is not properly known. It is somewhat understandable when the ticket taker incorrectly prints the name on a gamesheet as Black Hawks but this error should not be perpetuated by our own organization.

The Chicago Blackhawks were founded on September 25, 1926, when the National Hockey League awarded a franchise to Major Frederic McLaughlin, a local coffee tycoon who was able to come up with the $12,000 entry fee. Why there aren't as many Frederic McLaughlin's as Tim Horton's remains a marketing mystery.

In an effort to secure players for the 1926-27 season, McLaughlin purchased the Portland Rose Buds of the floundering Western Hockey League for $200,000 and moved the nucleus of the team to Chicago. Fortunately, the Major was not a big fan of the "Rose Buds" moniker.

During World War I, McLaughlin served as a commander in the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 85th Division of the U.S. Army. Members of his division called themselves Black Hawks in honour of the Sauk Indian War Chief named Makataimeshekia, or Black Sparrow Hawk, which was further shortened to Blackhawk.

Since Blackhawk was known for being a fierce fighter, the choice of name seemed appropriate for a Battalion. The fact that Blackhawk sided with the British in the War of 1812 seems to have escaped their attention.

We are the Blackhawks.