The Chicago Blackhawks trip to the Greatest of all-time heads to another owner, and this time he has a very familiar last name to new Chicago Blackhawks fans.
When you say the name Wirtz to new Chicago Blackhawks fans, they immediately think of Rocky Wirtz the current owner of the Blackhawks.
For Blackhawks fans of my father’s age or older, the name Wirtz was preceded by the name Arthur who along with James D Norris purchased the Chicago Blackhawks after already owning the Detroit Red Wings and their Stadium.
The big thing that Wirtz did was own stadiums with him owning most of the big sporting venues east of the Mississippi which meant for a time he was the landlord of the Chicago Stadium and the Blackhawks were paying him.
An interesting note not hockey related about Arthur Wirtz is that he helped found the International Boxing or I.B.C which was one of the three big boxing organizations back in the day when boxing was a really big deal.
Wirtz finally sold all his rights to the Detroit Red Wings, and finally became the principal owner of the Chicago Blackhawks in the early 1950’s.
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Wirtz when he finally was concentrating on the Chicago Blackhawks built a team that was down and out in the 50’s into a young exciting team that won the Stanley Cup in 1961 with stars like Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita on their roster.
The 1961 Stanley Cup was the pride and joy of the Wirtz Family for a long time, 49 years, so much so that Wirtz son Bill who took over the team after Arthur stepped down never won a Cup.
Arthur would get elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971, but his accomplishments were spread all over the country including getting St. Louis into the NHL because him and Norris owned the stadium.
It’s kind of ironic how the name Wirtz has gone from legend to complete trash to great owner in three generations all because one was only worried about making money and not wanting to win at all costs and have a great organization.
One of the best decisions Arthur ever made was naming Rocky his grandson as a successor as Chairman of the Board after Bill could no longer lead the franchise.
The Name Wirtz is famous with the Blackhawks because Arthur was the Grandfather of them all, and he ranks 86th on our countdown.
Only 86 days left, what do you think of having Arthur on the list?