There is hope in Chicago…

Sunday night, I sat way up in section 321 of the United Center, and hopefully witnessed the dawn a new era of Blackhawks hockey….the Tuomo Ruutu years.Now I know it was but one preseason game, and it is too soon to be putting the kid in the hall of fame, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say right now that he’s going to live up to the hype.

Impressive moment #1: On his first ever NHL shift, he puts a Blues defenseman hard into the boards.

Impressive moment #2: His second shift of the game, he scores a goal off his own rebound. Having suffered through years of misery as the Hawks missed countless opportunities to deposit the trash into a gaping net, let me tell you how refreshing it was to see a guy who knows his angles and was already sitting there waiting to pop it back in.

Impressive moment #3: Still in the first period, Ruutu puts Blues thug Jamal Mayers hard into the boards. Mayers comes back and cheap-shots Ruutu from behind, sending his helmet off across the ice. Ruutu calmly gets up and skates away. Mayers took a trip to the sin bin for his efforts.

Impressive moment #4: Trying to exact his revenge, Mayers lines up Ruutu as he’s bringing the puck along the boards. Ruutu holds off some Blues defenseman with his left arm and knocks Mayers five feet backwards onto his backside with his right shoulder-all while maintaining possession of the puck.

You guessed it-The game’s #1 star was Tuomo Ruutu.

A sample of things to come?

Do we have a superstar in the making here?

Will Wirtz pay up to keep him if he does become an all star (yeah right…)?

The long suffering hockey fans in Chicago can only hope.