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Blackhawks' Owner... Dead!

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  • #31
    It has begun...

    Blackhawk Home Games on TV? If you’re from Chicago and a hockey fan, you know the pain. You try to get involved with the Blackhawks, yet never see them in the United Center on TV. Well, unless you catch the news. You also know its bad when the Hawks do show home games (maybe 4 all year), they try to sell the fact that the game is in HD. You would think they invented high definition.

    I’ve spoken about this before, but the Blackhawks have lost 2 complete generations of hockey fans due to their deplorable marketing methods, a former dictator as an owner, and a league seriously on the downslide. Even in 1995 when the Hawks were in the Western Conference Finals against Detroit, Wirtz did not like the idea of home games being on TV even though it was part of the NHL TV rules with ESPN. Nice guy huh?

    While it was sad to see Bill Wirtz pass, it may have been the best thing that’s happened to the Chicago Blackhawks in years. Instead of opting to allow his son Peter to take over, a move was made to put his other son, Rocky, at the helm. A very wise decision indeed. Even with Bill Wirtz out of the picture, there was still Bob Pulford. Rocky Wirtz severed the puppet strings immediately and gave GM Dale Tallon full control of team operations instead of “coaching” him on every minute decision. What used to be an organization concerned more about beer sales and attendance now looks to be focused on winning and the fans. Yes, you heard me right, the fans. Rocky Wirtz has gone a step further and engaged in conversations with Comcast Chicago regarding putting the games on local television:

    “Yes, I’m excited to confirm the Blackhawks and Comcast SportsNet are moving forward with the concept of airing some Blackhawk home games on our network this season. We are happy to be taking this next step to showcase this very exciting and talented young team to our viewers from the United Center in HDTV. As we are currently in the preliminary stages, exact details of which games will air on our network should be determined in the very near future and an official announcement will occur at that time.”

    The timing is perfect for any mention of home games being on TV. The Chicago Wolves (AHL) have been making majour strides in being a minour league team overcoming an NHL organization. They even added two former Blackhawk announcers (Pat Foley/Billy Gardner) to broadcast the games in what was a great marketing move in terms of familiarizing the organization with Chicago hockey fans.

    To help revitalize the organization, the Blackhawks now have Denis Savard as their head coach, one of the more popular players in Hawks lore. He knows the city, the fans, and the organization and has already gotten the team headed in the right direction. Add keeping Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the active roster instead of sending them to rot in the AHL and this is a much different team. They even got an inkling of good news knowing that Martin Havlat won’t be out the entire season with a shoulder injury.

    The Hawks win over Toronto on Saturday is exactly the reason why they should be on TV. Just like Brian Griese, they overcame a usual obstacle and came back to score five goals in the third period. They’re young, exciting, and trying to regain their significance with the NHL and Chicago. Putting the games on TV allows the rest of us to watch them grow as well.
    Keep on Civin'
    RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O