Dose of Reality #72

September 26, 2007

Bill Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks and a powerful, behind-the-scenes member of the NHL, died early Wednesday of cancer.  I lived in Chicago and went to many hockey games during my long time there.  Wirtz was not a fan favorite with hockey people in that city, a situation that is probably the opposite of how well-liked John McConnell is here in Columbus.  Most of the reports that you have heard about Wirtz and the team are true:  He would not televise home games, was a penny-pincher who didn’t care about winning as long as he made a profit, drove Bobby Hull and other stars out of town, and other short-sighted stuff.  I recommend that you read Steve Rosenbloom’s piece with the understanding that Rosenbloom made a career writing critical stories about the guy.

Wirtz’s death will probably change the way the NHL does business.  By that, I mean the Chicago franchise will probably become a lot more progressive and fan-friendly, maybe even put itself up for sale.  If the sleeping Blackhawks wake up and start winning, the entire NHL will have to stop taking the team for granted.  Chicago is a great sports town and they love their teams.  Imagine a city of that size, 9.5 million in the metro area, loving hockey again.

-Truth Serum


One comment

  1. Congrats for appearing on the Deadspin Western Conference preview!

    Looking forward to the season and hopefully a Jacket team in the hunt to January at least.

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