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Blackhawks' Owner... Dead!

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  • Ming
    replied
    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.

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  • -Jrabbit
    replied
    Toews will be sitting the first 2 games at least. Savvy wants to make sure the broken finger is fully healed.

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  • cinch
    replied
    As an Edmontonian currently in exile in the Windy City, I look forward to seeing which of "my" two teams wins the race to the cellar.

    Oh well, at least there'll be a lot of youth to watch...

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  • Asher
    replied
    Ah. STL was the most recent, which is why I probably thought of it.

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  • snoopy369
    replied
    Hmm, apparently they were off by one.

    29 Boston Bruins (1968-96)
    28 Chicago Blackhawks (1970-97)

    They held the record for current streak for one year, and that's probably what I was remembering.

    StL was at 22, by the way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Asher
    replied
    I think the StL Blues had that record.

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  • snoopy369
    replied
    And to think the Hawks used to have the record for most consecutive playoff appearances (of any sport, iirc)...

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  • notyoueither
    replied
    Originally posted by -Jrabbit
    Something to build on, and lord knows the Hawks have nowhere to go but up...

    ...and HTF did the Hawks actually snag TWO hot young players without screwing it up???
    The Pens formula.

    Suck real bad for so long that you can't screw up all the top 5 picks.

    Then have a little luck and win the lottery to pick 1st.

    Leave a comment:


  • Asher
    replied
    Toews was amazing at the World Juniors. I think he'll be something. Kane I know less about.

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  • -Jrabbit
    replied
    Something to build on, and lord knows the Hawks have nowhere to go but up...

    ...and HTF did the Hawks actually snag TWO hot young players without screwing it up???

    Leave a comment:


  • Asher
    replied
    Kane and Toews

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  • -Jrabbit
    replied
    I'm no hockey fanatic these days, but I grew up a major Hawks fan back in the days of the Original 6.

    RIP Mr. Wirtz.

    ...And may Kane and Toews be harbingers of better days ahead.

    Leave a comment:


  • Grandpa Troll
    replied
    Originally posted by -Jrabbit
    Grandpa --Stan Mikita was a center, not a winger.
    and you get a cookie for reading my responses

    Actually, I listened to many a hawk game and well, thank you for paying attention

    Leave a comment:


  • -Jrabbit
    replied
    Grandpa --Stan Mikita was a center, not a winger.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ming
    replied
    I guess it's really tough for much of the local media and Blackhawk fans to seperate the man from his actions as owner of the team.

    Wirtz is survived by a bunch of children and grandchildren, who I'm sure are trying to stay away from any media to avoid listening to all the vultures attacking him. If you talk to anybody that worked with him, or knew him personally, they all say great things about what kind of person he was.

    Now, ask anybody how he DESTROYED the Blackhawks, and most will agree.

    He was a good man. I find the media's reaction to his death distasteful. I'm not glad the man is dead. I didn't wish him dead, and I feel sorry for his family.

    While I'm thrilled that maybe now, the team can move forward, I'm not going to dance on his grave like it seems the bulk of the local media wants to do.

    He was a good man.

    Leave a comment:

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