Blackhawks ‘will see a lot of good years ahead,’ owner Rocky Wirtz says
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2013 7:22PM
Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz (left) and team president and CEO John McDonough at Phil Stefani’s restaurant on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. | Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: July 27, 2013 6:35AM
Two goals in 17 seconds? “I just couldn’t believe it,” Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz said Tuesday.
“I didn’t realize it — all of a sudden — and I realized we just tied it up,” Wirtz said. “We’re all giving each other high-fives and I turn around and look up and see we just scored again.”
Boston’s TD Garden rink — full of hopeful Bruins fans — deflated, he said.
“You realized that with some 50 seconds left, we [got] it done again,” Wirtz said. “I just couldn’t believe it, because in my mind I was preparing for Game 7.”
Still basking in the emotions of another Stanley Cup title, Wirtz told reporters the organization “will see a lot of good years ahead” — by maintaining its power players and concentrating on player development.
“We’re very fortunate to have people in the pipeline,” Wirtz added.
“I don’t think many people thought that [you could] rebuild an organization in a relatively short period of time. What Stan [Bowman] has done is he knew what the nucleus is and he had to build around it,” Wirtz said. “The nice thing about this team is we don’t have to dismantle it like we did in 2010.”
Wirtz and Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough reunited with the Stanley Cup at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush restaurant Tuesday afternoon, as fans lined Rush Street to get a glimpse of the shiny trophy and quickly snap pictures before it was brought inside.
McDonough said the team’s post-season run was destined to have a historic finish.
“I had a sense after we beat Detroit that something pretty special was brewing,” he said. “You beat L.A. in 5 and you beat Boston in an epic historic series in 6. And what happened last night is going to be part of Chicago legend.”
McDonough called the Hawks the proud “underdogs,” but said he has hopes Chicago will rise in the ranks of hockey cities.
“I’m happy for the NHL. The ratings were amazing,” McDonough said. “I think the interest in hockey in the United States might be at an all-time high and I think it’s good to see the success that Chicago has had. . . . Detroit is the gold standard. That’s where we want to get. Detroit has made the playoffs 22 years in a row, and they’ve won four Stanley Cups. Sign me up for that.”