The Owner Fans Love to Hate

Once more, NHL playoffs commence without Chicago's other lovable losers
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Apr 18, 2007 9:49 AM CDT
Phoenix Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks    (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Chicago hockey fans have reviled Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz ever since he failed to re-sign wildly popular winger Bobby Hull, who carried the team to their last championship 45 years ago. The team's eight-year playoff drought hasn't helped Wirtz's case, nor has the fact that most Hawks home games aren't televised.

Douglas Belkin profiles the real estate tycoon and legendary Scrooge, who he says shrugs off the wrath of fans by observing that "public scorn is part of owning a professional sports team." In an ESPN survey of sports fans, the Blackhawks were 118th out of 121 franchises, and Writz second-lowest of all team owners.