Rocky Top (of the Blackhawks Food Chain)

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Paul M. Banks chats with Hawks Owner Rocky Wirtz

As the countdown to the NHL Winter Classic 2009 continues, Mayor Richard M. Daley, joined by Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, Blackhawks President John McDonough, and Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney came to subzero Wrigley Field on Monday for a special press event in advance of the much-anticipated outdoor regular-season NHL game on New Year’s Day.

Daley and the execs toured the current field infrastructure led by the NHL’s Don Renzulli, Senior Vice President of Events, and Dan Craig, Facilities Operations Manager — the team transforming baseball cathedral Wrigley Field into a hockey venue.  Following the tour, the fedora-clad Mayor and executives chatted with us journalists in a nice WARM press room. After the speeches, Rocky presented Hizzoner with a special Winter Classic jersey with “Daley 09” stitched on the back. 

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Rocky talked about the team’s recent resurgence in the Chicago sports scene….

“Dale Tallon the GM has done a great job of finding the right makeup of a player and players that want to play with each other, that’s as important as the talent.”

His plans for watching the Classic…

I’ll be moving around and you see what my uniform will be: as warm a wool suit as I can wear and maybe some long underwear if it’s like this.


We want everyone to have a good time: the fans the front office, the players. It’s a sport, but it’s not so serious. When times are tough we want to forget about our problems and go out and scream our heads off for a couple hours and have a good time and maybe have an adult beverage once-in-a-while and put our feet up and that’s why things are happening.

His official remarks on the Winter Classic…

I want to thank the Chicago fans who we asked a year ago or so, just to bear with us and please allow us to be relevant again in Chicago and I think you’ve seen the outpouring of how great the fans are, we were close to last in the league in attendance, and we’re lucky enough after 15 games to lead the league in attendance.

I wanted to thank Commissioner Bettman who had great faith in this fine city of Chicago and the mayor who know what a great city this is and how it can put on a world class event. And I also want to thank all those Chicago Bears fans who are going to be out watching the Bears beat Green Bay today, because that’s going to be much like the Chicago Blackhawks fans who are going to be following the Blackhawks on a day like today.

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Rocky Wirtz’s bio

From Wikipedia

William Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz (1952-) is the owner of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. Wirtz managed the Judge & Dolph, Ltd. liquor distributorship until October 2007. He assumed control of the franchise shortly after the death of his father, Bill Wirtz; and his brother, Peter Wirtz, decided to maintain Bismarck Enterprises in lieu of owning the team
Almost immediately after becoming the new owner, Rocky Wirtz began altering some longstanding policies implemented by his father, which many fans saw as archaic. According to a source within the Hawks organization, Rocky Wirtz “believes in spending money to make money,” in marked contrast to his father. Wirtz also hired John McDonough, formerly with the Chicago Cubs to become the new President of the team.
Former players Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, who were not on good terms with Bill Wirtz, have worked with the team in the role of “ambassadors,” another sign that Rocky Wirtz has been able to undo the damage to the franchise many attributed to his father. A big step showing that this damage had been coming undone came when the Chicago Blackhawks celebrated Hull and Mikita in a joint celebration at the United Center on Friday, March 7, 2008.

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Comments

  1. Do you think Rocky has juice? you know just a little bit….

  2. EIU Cheerleader/SICA Chick says

    Yeah I’d say he HAS quite a bit of JUICE

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