Rocky Wirtz, Chairman of Chicago N.H.L. Team, Dies at 70

Spread the love

W. Rockwell Wirtz, nicknamed Rocky, the chairman of the N.H.L.’s Chicago Blackhawks, died Tuesday at 70.

The Blackhawks introduced Wirtz’s demise on their Twitter account however didn’t listing a trigger or location.

“Our hearts are very heavy immediately,” Danny Wirtz, Rocky’s son and the chief government of the group, mentioned in a press release. “Our dad was a passionate businessman dedicated to creating Chicago an awesome place to reside, work and go to, however his real love was for his household and shut pals.”

Wirtz’s grandfather Arthur had gained management of the group in 1954, when Rocky was 2 years previous, after working in actual property. Arthur Wirtz’s different pursuits included a resort and a furnishings enterprise. He was elected to the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1971 and is credited for utilizing his “monetary would possibly to assist solidify the standing of the N.H.L. in the USA.”

At the moment, the household’s companies, via the Wirtz Company, embrace actual property, insurance coverage, banking, beverage distribution and sports activities and leisure. Rocky Wirtz had been the president of the company and the chairman of group since 2007, having assumed the roles after the demise of his father, William.

Whereas Chicago hockey followers had come to criticize William Wirtz for the group administration’s refusal to televise most residence video games, for poor on-ice efficiency and for a reluctance to signal free brokers — inspiring the nickname Greenback Invoice — the group returned to prominence within the 2010s.

Rocky Wirtz reversed a few of his father’s insurance policies, together with these concerning televised video games and ticketing, and dipped into cash from different household companies to prop up the hockey group.

Chicago received three Stanley Cups within the decade, in 2010, 2013 and 2015, breaking a championship drought that stretched to 1961, an particularly lengthy fallow interval for one of many league’s Unique Six groups.

These championships, nonetheless, misplaced their glimmer when a 2021 investigation commissioned by the group discovered that a number of Blackhawks executives had did not report an accusation {that a} minor league participant was sexually assaulted by the group’s video coach through the 2010 playoffs.

The investigation discovered that executives had been nervous about distracting the group and had not performed an intensive inquiry or adequately punished the coach, Brad Aldrich, who later made a sexual advance towards a group intern. Aldrich later labored in a number of different jobs in hockey and pleaded responsible to sexual contact with a minor whereas he was a highschool coach in Michigan, the place he needed to register as a intercourse offender.

Throughout a city corridor occasion in 2022, Rocky Wirtz confronted reporters and declined to reply questions in regards to the participant who had introduced the 2010 accusation, Kyle Seashore, and what the group would do to guard gamers sooner or later. He later apologized.

The N.H.L. fined the group $2 million, and two executives who had been amongst these made conscious of the accusation in 2010 resigned from their posts. Followers and members of the information media have criticized the league for not levying stiffer punishment. Chicago retained its 2023 first-round draft choose and received the lottery, giving it the flexibility to pick Connor Bedard, a prospect considered a generational expertise.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top