Chicago Sports Inside and Out – The Chicago Sports Maven

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The New Chicago Blackhawks

Posted by sportsmaven on January 19, 2008

So much has happened since we last saw the Chicago Blackhawks grace the pages of the Sportsmaven blog. Barring a collapse of the Chicago Cubs (which is ALWAYS a distinct possibility) your Chicago Blackhawks might be the most successful of the major professional sports teams that call Chicago home. The Blackhawks have come out of hibernation and have done it at the most perfect time, given the struggles of it’s United Center roommate, the Chicago Bulls. It has done so in the face of a disappointing 7-9 post-Super Bowl season for the Chicago Bears. And spring training is about a month away, so the Blackhawks have center stage and are making the most of it.

Wirtz and McDonough Restore Blackhawks Hockey

Kudos to new owner Rocky Wirtz in making one right move after another in providing this franchise an about face it so dearly needed. The hiring of John McDonough from the Chicago Cubs was brilliant. The announcement of home games on TV began the healing. Parking Bob Pulford in the Wirtz Corporation offices and reaching out to Blackhawks alumni Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita to take front and center publicity roles were long overdue. The Blackhawks are seeing a revitalization that has rarely been witnessed in Chicago sports history.

Tonight’s article is about the franchise, the new direction, the new hope, the seizing of opportunity. The bulk of the heavy lifting still has to come from the players and coaching staff, but finally, this team no longer has to carry the baggage of the mess that old ownership bestowed. It no longer has to play it’s home games in a near empty stadium. The Blackhawks players and coaches have earned a pass for this season, but yet, they are performing better than I had anticipated, and could compete for a playoff spot if several key players return quickly from injury. Hockey fans rejoice — The Chicago Blackhawks have become relevant once again.

2 Responses to “The New Chicago Blackhawks”

  1. Dude — I totally agree with you on your statement. The truly amazing thing Rocky Wirtz did was hire an outsider (John McDonough) to run the organization. McDonough has been nothing short of brilliant, remarketing the team and bring back the excitement. The real change, however, will come with McDonough’s biggest task – changing the mindset of the organization to make winning the Stanley Cup the number one priority. If that happens, the statue of Wirtz may very well be erected in Chicago.

  2. Dude said

    Rocky Wirtz should have a statue of him made outside of the UC. He has done a great job bringing back a once proud (and proud again) organization which his father destroyed.

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