SBD/March 26, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Tributes Pour In For The Late Tim Sassone, Called The "Dean" Of Blackhawks Beat Writers

Sassone had been on the Blackhawks beat since the '88 NHL season
TIM SASSONE, the longtime Blackhawks beat writer for the Illinois Daily Herald, died yesterday at the age of 58 in Naperville, Ill. due to "complications from an illness," according to Chris Hine of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Sassone began working at the Daily Herald in '84 and "took over the Blackhawks beat" in '88. He has dealt with "several health issues, including a stroke in 2012, but he continued to write about the Blackhawks." Sassone during his time at the paper "developed a sterling reputation among his fellow writers for his knowledge of hockey and the Blackhawks but also for being a mentor and friend to other writers." The Chicago Tribune's Hawks beat writer CHRIS KUC called Sassone the "dean of Blackhawks beat writers." While the Blackhawks were celebrating on the ice after clinching the '10 Stanley Cup in Philadelphia, media members were "allowed on the ice." In the midst of the celebration, Blackhawks LW PATRICK SHARP "came over to Sassone, shook his hand and made sure Sassone felt included in the celebration" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/26). Daily Herald Editor JOHN LAMPINEN said, "The hockey world mourns a legend who knew, explained and critiqued the sport better than anyone." Blackhawks historian BOB VERDI added, "He was a terrific writer and reporter. He knew hockey and loved it. He respected his readers, his profession and his newspaper. He was a professional who took his job seriously but was able to laugh." In Illinois, Tom Quinlin in a front-page piece notes Sassone also "assisted with coverage of professional golf, baseball, football and even high school sports." He "helped cover the White Sox during their World Series run" of '05 and the USA "collapse in the 2012 Ryder Cup." He also "provided coverage of Northern Illinois football during its Orange Bowl-run season" of '12-13 (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 3/26).

BLACKHAWKS PAY RESPECTS: In Illinois, Mike Spellman notes news of Sassone's death "shook Sharp and the Blackhawks." Sharp said, "He’s been on the beat for a long time, and we know how much he cares about the Blackhawks. He was very fair, very honest. He wasn’t afraid to write both sides of the story." Blackhawks D DUNCAN KEITH added, "He always gave us a lot of respect and was always fair to us as players. He was one of the first guys I remember when I came here to Chicago" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 3/26). In Chicago, Mark Lazerus notes the Blackhawks, who "presented Sassone with a No. 25 jersey last year to commemorate his 25th year on the beat, held a moment of silence in his honor" last night before their game with the Stars (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/26).
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