Blackhawks News

Blackhawks Top 100- #40 Rocky Wirtz

By Keith Schultz

Nov 4, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; United States president Barack Obama jokes with Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz during an event honoring the 2013 NHL hockey Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks at The White House. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Blackhawks 2014 Season kicks off. We’re going to do a Top 100 list of all time Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down Memory Lane.

Has there ever been a name in Sports that has two totally different reactions than the name Wirtz? “Dollar Bill” Wirtz has to be the most hated name ever when you think about ownership in sports if not ever in Chicago for sure.  Bill Wirtz it seems did everything a owner should not do from alienating the fans to pinching pennies to firing legends.  Wirtz did all of that with his biggest transgression besides a horrible product from 97-05 was never showing home games on television.  His theory of course was that fans wouldn’t come out to Chicago Stadium if they could just sit at home and watch the game.  Bill Wirtz also fired fan favorite Pat Foley while turning his back on former Blackhawks legends.

Rocky Wirtz wasn’t suppose to take over the Blackhawks his brother Peter was suppose to be heir to the Blackhawks throne, but thankfully Rocky took control of the Wirtz Corporation after the passing of Bill Wirtz which of course includes the Blackhawks.

Rocky moved swiftly to make up all the wrongs of his Father with the first decision being dumping Bob Pulford into the unemployment line and hiring John McDonough as Team President.  Pulford had been with the Blackhawks for four decades but he was just and old guy that thought like Bill so it was a got to go situation.

Rocky quickly moved to get all the Blackhawks games televised while hiring back Pat Foley.  Rocky also repaired the relationships with Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Denis Savard which went a long way with Blackhawks fans.

When Rocky took over season ticket holders were less than 4,000 and the Blackhawks hadn’t been to the playoffs for years. His goal was to get the fans back and get the team back on track to win Championships.  Rocky accomplished all of that with the Blackhawks today having over 200 consecutive sellouts to lead the league and as we all know the Hawks have won 2 Stanley Cups since 2010.

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Rocky saved the franchise and turned it from a loser franchise to a Championship team that free agents want to play for and a fanbase that continues to grow to this day with an exciting roster of fan favorite players.

What is your thoughts on Rocky? What do you think too low or too high for Rocky?

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