Winter Classic Is Chicago Blackhawks Coming Out Party
Posted by sportsmaven on January 1, 2009
It can be very easy to say that the star of this afternoon’s NHL 2009 Winter Classic is Wrigley Field, and even easier to say the game is a showcase for NHL power, defending Stanley Cup Champions, and this year’s Stanley Cup favorite, the Detroit Red Wings. But lets not be mistaken any longer than needed. The NHL Winter Classic is the coming out party for Rocky Wirtz/John McDonough led, new, improved, and revived Chicago Blackhawks team. And it’s exactly what the NHL needs for an Original Six team that has been down on it’s own luck.
Of course, the young Chicago Blackhawks team has been doing it’s part, especially of late, winning a franchise record 9 games in a row. That streak was broken yesterday in Detroit, with the Red Wings pitching a shutout, adding to the already incredible hype of today’s game, making it into a nationally televised grudge match.
At least two generations of Hawks fans have been disenfranchised by the draconian methods of management under long time owner Bill Wirtz. When the older Wirtz died in September of 2007, his son Rocky was tapped to run the team, and it seemed that Rocky learned all the “lessons” of his father’s mismanagement. In 188 sweeping days, Rocky has reversed all the negativity of past mismanagement, with his first move, stealing the marketing genius McDonough away from the Chicago Cubs. That move alone signaled to Hawks fans that Wirtz was committed to reviving the sagging fortunes of the once-proud Blackhawks franchise.
The rest is marketing history. As we ring in what we hope to be a better year in 2009, hope springs eternal in the City of Chicago, for the Chicago Blackhawks, and their fans. Regardless of the outcome of today’s game, the Winter Classic marks the coming out of a young Chicago Blackhawks team, the unveiling of a new, historic direction for a historic Original Six team. For those not fortunate enough to secure tickets for the Classic, the game will be brodcast on television, as will every single game the Blackhawks will play this season. This is a first in the 82-year history of the team.
So let the celebrations begin, hopefully the first of many celebrations for the new, improved Chicago Blackhawks.
ESPN has extensive coverage of today’s NHL Winter Classic:
- Gene Wojciechowski notes that if the Blackhawks can win, others have hope…
- In E.J. Hradek’s blog, 10 players are deemed The Winter Classic Players to Watch
- Ever wonder how hockey ice is made? Scott Burnside lets us in on the family secret of the NHL ice guru…
- Now that the day is here, lets drop the puck and play…
- Hawks and Wings tap their inner child by playing outside, becoming the latest teams to feel the outdoor magic
- The Winter Classic pits NHL Central Division Rivals, Original Six teams, and the #3 and #4 teams in the NHL Power Rankings
On the local front, the popular stories of the week on the Winter Classic:
- The outdoor rink at Wrigley is just like any other backyard ice rink, according to the Sun-Times Carol Slezak.
- Chris Chelios says Wrigley brings back sweet memories of Chicago in his glorious return to Wrigley Field
- Blackhawks President John McDonough’s long awaited dream is about to come true…
- Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc notes that the sun could cause the players problems
- Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald says it’s time for the Hawks to take it outside and get physical with the Red Wings