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SBD/June 26, 2013/Franchises
Blackhawks' Front Office Viewed As Key To Success; Wirtz Credited With Turnaround
Published June 26, 2013
DREAMS OF A DYNASTY: THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell wrote, "With two Stanley Cups in four years, this is about as close to a dynasty as we’re going to see in the NHL these days." The potential for more is "on the horizon with this group." That is "good for Chicago, great for the NHL and the business of hockey and wonderful for anyone who has an appreciation for comeback stories and the rich history of the game" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 6/25). YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika wrote team GM Stan Bowman is "committed to the core," and "rebuilt the supporting cast after chopping half the Cup team in a salary-cap crunch in the summer of 2010." He "stuck with coach Joel Quenneville despite two first-round playoff losses, not to mention a nine-game losing streak last season that had the headhunters banging their drums." Cotsonika: "The best part? Bowman will not have to break up the team the way he did in 2010." He will have to "make changes, especially with the salary cap coming down next season." But he has "learned from experience and planned for this, and the Blackhawks will not need an overhaul" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/24). In Chicago, David Haugh writes, "Bowman never wavered, not even with his boss." He "stayed away from signing a big name to relieve public -- or private -- pressure and placed his faith in the core of a team coming off two straight first-round exits." Bowman's "conviction persuaded McDonough to stay the course." Sticking with a "plan instead of succumbing to public calls for change also fit into the way ... Rocky Wirtz likes to operate." Wirtz: "Like all the businesses our family runs, we don't let emotion guide your better judgment. So why would we do that for a sports team just because somebody writes about them every day" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/26).
HIT PARADE: In Chicago, Smith, Sege & St. Clair in a front-page piece note the Blackhawks yesterday were "trotting the Stanley Cup around the city in celebration." Using "social media, traditional news sources and the old-fashioned rumor mill, the Blackhawks faithful tracked the storied trophy from O'Hare International Airport to Michigan Avenue, with stops at a suburban restaurant, a South Side bar and the United Center in between" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/26).