I've been away from this blogging game for awhile, but golden week can't serve as an excuse for my failure to post on this particular story. The reasoning is more internal, trying to deal with the event in a composed, normal way and not react like the typical fan. There are few events that could force me back to Chicago from China and the majority are all family related, but if the Blackhawks ever made it to the Stanley Cup finals, I'd be hard pressed not to make the trip back. Good ol' Dollar Bill, William W. Wirtz passed away on September 26, a story that is now 2 weeks old. As a lifelong Hawks fan who experienced many a night in the old barn on the west side (remember the roar being the salute given to it during that final season when it was on its last legs) and the UC, Wirtz was always a villainous character to me as well as many Hawks fans who would curse his name for being a tight wad, refusing to put home games on tv, as well as a number of other injustices. The man basically ran an NHL Original Six franchise, once one of the league's strongest, into the ground, with the franchise being named the worst in professional sports by ESPN, failing to be able to give away tickets, barely getting the stadium to half capacity, and putting out a team that has consistently failed to make the playoffs (and hasn't won it all since '61).
It's easy to recite the bad, but there was also some good, as strange as it sounds to Chicagoans, he was a strong advocate for hockey and played a crucial role in shaping the NHL during his reign in Chicago and also was involved with a large number of charitable organizations.
If I was at the UC for the season opener, I don't think I'd be among the fans who booed the moment of silence for him, but a part of me can understand the fans who live and die with the Hawks that did. For me, its time to move on, the move by Peter Wirtz to step down instead of ascend to the top spot was a class move. Rocky Wirtz's takeover and his proclamations so far serve as a fresh start that hopefully will lead to the franchise moving in the right direction. Though still cursed with some old problems (Havlet going down in the first game of the season), the future looks promising for the Hawks, and the fans deserve it.