09.26.07

Bill Wirtz, Dead At 77

Posted in Hockey at 5:00 am by

Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, a chief executive so cheap even Donald Sterling and Jeffrey Loria came off like George Steinbrenner by comparison, passed away Tuesday in Evanston, IL after a long battle with cancer.

Under Wirtz’ stewardship, the Blackhawks managed to part ways with Bobby Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Phil Esposito amongst others. Chicago have not lifted the Stanley Cup since 1961, the longest such streak in the NHL.

Darius Kasparatis was waived by the Rangers on Monday, and while this was hardly a surprise given the 35 year old’s health woes over the last two years, it does afford us another opportunity to link to Keith Gessen’s fine 2005 profile of the defenseman.

6 Responses to “Bill Wirtz, Dead At 77”

  1. hot shit college student says:

    I didn’t know Wirtz had cancer. Should be an incredibly undignified day of sports radio in Chicago.

  2. glenzo says:

    This is far from a defense of the Wirtz family, but the Esposito and Hull examples you reference are 35+ years old and were probably more driven by patriarch Arthur Wirtz- clearly the hardline stance was genetic.

    It’s also worth noting the Wirtzes’ bizarre refusal to televise home games. I have memories of growing up listening to Blackhawk games on radio, which didn’t even join the action until the second period.

  3. GC says:

    point taken about the ancient history stuff, G, but B.W. was club president when Hull and Espo left Chicago. Perhaps the failures to retain either Dominik Hasek, Eddie Belfour or Tony Amonte would’ve been better contemporary examples.

  4. hot shit college student says:

    chelios too (although he was getting old 8 years ago). pat foley’s departure was the latest, and most ridiculous one.

  5. Jason Cohen says:

    There have been many, many jokes about the funeral not being aired on TV.

  6. hot shit college student says:

    Mariotti spanked “Sick Puppy Radio” for jokes like that in his “perpetual web column”. Oddly enough, it was the station that shitcanned him in 2004, and he doesn’t mention it’s an ESPN affiliate.

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