Entries with the tag: bill wirtz
On XM Home Ice this morning, a Blackhawks fan called in to talk about how he wanted to face the Red Wings in the conference final. As an aside to that, he went on about thanking Rocky Wirtz and company for reviving the team.
This got me to thinking: what if Bill Wirtz was still running this team? Since his death hasn’t really changed the on-ice product (GM Dale Tallon has acquired all of Chicago’s key pieces through drafting, trades, and signings), so it’s really about off-ice perception. The one area where that might be different is with Brian Campbell; while Tallon knew Campbell was a talented puck-moving defenseman, he basically acknowledged overpaying him as a means to keep market momentum going.
So let’s say that theoretically, the Hawks reproduce this on-ice success but have done it under the black cloud of Bill Wirtz. That means no local TV of home games, no bringing back legendary players, no Blackhawks Convention, and probably no Winter Classic. Last season, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews probably would raised an eyebrow for the Chicago sports public but nothing more—after all, the non-playoff Hawks probably would have been viewed as the same old, same old.
With the Chicago Blackhawks flying high (literally and figuratively) in the post-Bill Wirtz revival starring Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, I thought it’d be a reasonable time to take a quick look back at one alternative timeline for the Chicago Blackhawks. Younger fans, after all, may not realize that they missed out on an NHL titan back in the early/mid-90s—a team that really could have been even better.
Stanley Cup winners are often built around a strong pair of centers. In the 1990s, Mario Lemieux had Ron Francis, Steve Yzerman had Sergei Fedorov, and Joe Sakic had Peter Forsberg. As good as the Chicago Blackhawks were during the early/mid-90s, they only had one top-flight center in Jeremy Roenick.
However, they sure came close to getting one. In this alternate timeline, we’ll assume that all feasible trades and drafts were made in 1992 - 1994, except with one big change: Eric Lindros came to the Chicago Blackhawks.