Strange But True: The Curse

Pete Muldoon was the coach of the Chicago Black Hawks in 1927, and the team did fairly well. But club owner Fred McLaughlin decided to get a new coach. Angered, Muldoon put his personal hex on the Black Hawks. He said the team would never win the Stanley Cup.

When 25 years passed and the Hawks had still never won the Cup, Muldoon’s words were remembered. Perhaps he had really laid a curse on them!

Never is a long time, however, and the Black Hawks did finally win the Stanley Cup and break “Muldoon’s Curse” in 1962. But Muldoon had nothing to be ashamed of. It took Chicago exactly 35 years to break the jinx.

From The Giant Book of Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

Blackhawks: Cursed, or Concoction?

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1 Comment

  1. Allowing for the fact that he wrote this in the early 70’s and didn’t have the Interwebs available to him, Liss got a lot about this story wrong.  First, it appears that the whole thing was made up by either a newspaper reporter having a problem with writer’s block, or by team management in the 40’s looking for a way to boost ticket sales.
    There is wide disagreement as to whether Muldoon was fired or he quit.
    The curse wasn’t about not winning the Stanley Cup–it was about not finishing in first place.  The Black Hawks won the Cup twice in the 30’s which Liss honestly should have checked out first.  The team didn’t finish in first place until 1967–but they lost in the finals to Toronto.  The next time they won the Cup, in 2010, was also one of the years when they also finished in first place and the first time they had done both in the same year.  They did it again in 2013.  So, made up curse, or curse about first place or curse about the Cup, the curse is officially over.

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