Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bill Wirtz, Chicago Blackhawks Owner, Dies at 77

Some Central Division news out of Chicago today as Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz has died.

Wirtz's ownership position was contraversial at best. Fans blame him for many of the team's recent on-ice troubles, as well as questionable decisions regarding media coverage, trades and player contracts. According to Wikipedia, Wirtz is at least partially responsible for the Blackhawks trading or losing Dominik Hasek, Ed Belfour, Chris Chelios, Bobby Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Phil Esposito.

Wirtz is also alledged to have prevented Blackhawks games from being televised locally in hopes of attracting fans to the games. That policy and others are better detailed in this 2004 ESPN The Magazine report which labels the Blackhawks as the 'Worst franchise in sports'.

For fifty years the Blackhawks have been owned by the Wirtz family, and it has been a tumultuous time for the franchise. I don't wish to speak ill of the dead, but perhaps this may be an opportunity for the 'Hawks to right the ship.

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1 comment:

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