The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.
You know the names. Toews, Kane, Crawford, Hossa, Oduya, Versteeg, Seabrook, Shaw, the rest, and the coach, Quenneville.
They are the faces of the Chicago Blackhawks. They are the names in Chicago sports writers' columns. The names shouted by sportscasters. The names on the Blackhawks promotional goods sold.
There is one name rarely heard or written about.
The quiet man.
Rocky Wirtz is the quiet man. The man who stays in the background. His name is rarely mentioned. Yet, he owns the Chicago Blackhawks. He is the man who put excitement back into Chicago hockey.
Rocky Wirtz took a moribund team and turned them into the darlings of the N.H.L. Then in 2010, he took them to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961.
He did it again in 2013.
His team, the Chicago Blackhawks, are the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions.
The Hawks won the cup at home for the first time since 1938.
Rocky Wirtz created a dynasty.
Rocky Wirtz created a hockey dynasty by doing three things. Listening to the fans, implementing their suggestions and spending money to make money.
Sports is a business. Businesses are supposed to make money. They make money by listening to their customers. Rocky Wirtz listened. He also spent the money necessary to create a profitable enterprise.
The Hawks not only made money, they won championships. Three championships in six years.
Mr. Wirtz did all the right things. Now, he presides over a hockey dynasty to be reckoned with. He stays in the background, letting his players and coach grab the headlines, paragraphs, and taking points in the sports media. They are the stars. They are the faces and names.
Rocky Wirtz remains almost faceless and nameless.
It is time Rocky Wirtz receives public accolades for his accomplishments. If not for him the Hawks would be another average team.
The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. The team beat all comers. They deserve the celebrations.
Rocky Wirtz, the quiet man, made it all happen. The Hawks won at home for the first time in 77 years. Rocky went on the ice and hugged his players and other employees. He belonged there.
Chicago has a dynasty. Chicago deserves it.
Rocky Wirtz deserves it.
Congratulations Rocky Wirtz and the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Stanley Cup would not be in the Mad House on Madison without Rocky Wirtz. It is past time Rocky Wirtz, the quiet man, receive the public recognition he deserves.
Chicago, give it to him.
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