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2007-2008 NHL Regular Season thread

Old 09-26-07, 05:28 AM
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2007-2008 NHL Regular Season thread

I thought I would kick of a season thread with this bit of morbid news that Chicago fans will not doubt rejoice in reading:

William Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, dead at 77

September 26, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -- William Wirtz, the longtime owner of the Chicago Blackhawks notorious for driving a hard bargain, died Wednesday at age 77.

In an announcement on the team Web site, the Blackhawks said Wirtz died at Evanston Hospital after battling cancer.

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The family, led by Arthur Wirtz, purchased the Chicago Blackhawks in 1954. In 1966, William Wirtz became team president.

Wirtz was chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Hockey League for 18 years and helped negotiate the merger of the NHL and the World Hockey Association in the late 1970's.

Together with Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Wirtz helped back the construction of the United Center, which replaced the Chicago Stadium, the long-time home for Blackhawks.

But since moving there 12 years ago, the Blackhawks have made just four playoff appearances -- only two since 1997. The Blackhawks haven't played in the Stanley Cup finals in 15 years. As a result, the Blackhawks -- one of the six original NHL teams -- average about 12,700 fans per game in an arena that seats 20,500.

Wirtz' stewardship of the Blackhawks was long questioned, with the criticism becoming more vociferous in recent years. Many fans blamed him for allowing too many good players to leave over the years, and for his refusal to televise most home games.

At the United Center, the retired numbers of Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall and Denis Savard hang high above the ice. It has been years since players of that caliber have played for the team.

And in recent years, Chicago lost such high-caliber players as Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte, Ed Belfour and Chris Chelios.

There are other banners hanging from the United Center rafters, touting the many successful seasons for the franchise. One stands out: the one representing the Stanley Cup in 1961, the last time the Blackhawks won the championship.

Wirtz often said his goal was for the team to win another Stanley Cup, but he was not known to spend lavishly on the team. His steadfast refusal to get into bidding wars to acquire the services of the game's best players earned Wirtz the nickname "Dollar Bill." That image changed somewhat when the club signed goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin to a four-year, $27 million contract in 2005.

Despite his reputation for paying close attention to the bottom line, Wirtz was known for his philanthropy.

Since its establishment in 1993, Blackhawk Charities has donated millions of dollars to worthy causes in Chicago, including the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois.

Wirtz' interest in sports extended beyond the NHL. He served on both the 1980 and 1984 Winter Olympic Committees. And for his efforts on both the professional and amateur levels, Mr. Wirtz was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976.

In addition to being president of the Blackhawks, Wirtz' business endeavors extended to real estate, liquor distributorships, catering, parking lots, banking, hotels and the travel industry.

Wirtz is survived by his wife, Alice, five children, Rocky, Gail, Karey, Peter and Alyson, and seven grandchildren.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slu...v=ap&type=lgns

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Old 09-26-07, 07:03 AM
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It's never a good thing when anyone dies, but in this case, this will help the Blackhawks tremendously as long as a non-Wirtz type leader gets in there.

Check out the book Career Misconduct for the real story on Dollar Bill.

I wonder if the funeral will be blacked out, most likely only in the Chicago area.

Last edited by dek; 09-26-07 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:48 AM
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It'll be met with the same type of reaction as when Harold Ballard died - mostly celebration.

For Blackhawk's fans sake, let's hope they're more successful after Wurtz's death than the Leafs are after Ballards.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dek
I wonder if the funeral will be blacked out, most likely only in the Chicago area.



-------------

I swore that guy would live to 185.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:43 PM
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I am not surprised that people in Chicago are not mourning the passing of Bill Wirtz.

Two factors--the refusal to show Blackhawks home games on local TV and not paying to keep the best players on the team--doomed this franchise just like Charlie Finley doomed the Oakland A's during the late 1970's. Hopefully, we'll see an ownership group that is willing to pay for decent players and get a good local TV deal with either WGN or a local regional sports cable network, so more people can discover the Blackhawks for a change.
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Old 09-26-07, 03:53 PM
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The Hawks finally have a chance to be good again
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Old 09-26-07, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Coral
It'll be met with the same type of reaction as when Harold Ballard died - mostly celebration.

For Blackhawk's fans sake, let's hope they're more successful after Wurtz's death than the Leafs are after Ballards.
On the local sports radio this morning they were playing "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" from the Wizard of Oz.

Wirtz's son Peter will take over so it will stay in the family, there's always been speculation that he disagreed with how his dad ran the franchise but I guess we will see.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:34 PM
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Dollar Bill bites the dust. Hawks fans must be dancing right now. The son has already said he will put home games on television.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:35 PM
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Well my spirits are a little dampened to start this season being a Sabres fan and the loss of the co-captains to free agency but i still think we have a decent team and will make the playoffs.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TheNightFlier
The son has already said he will put home games on television.
About fucking time.
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Old 09-27-07, 04:55 AM
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I am surprised that there is no talk of the Downie hit that knocked McAmmond out. Nasty hit by a guy that was suspended 8 times in his OHL career. When he does make the NHL, he is going to be a marked man.

You only need to watch the first 15 seconds or so of the video.


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Old 09-27-07, 09:19 AM
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Yeah it was a nasty hit. McAmmond already has a concussion history, not sure what number this is. Downie has done this throughout his career in juniors. There is absolutely no reason to be leaving your feet like that, it's cheap and it's dangerous. A number of players have already spoken out against it and Downie.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:43 AM
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That's not as bad as some hits I've seen, in terms of leaving your feet, but it certainly was bad for McAmmond. Never watch your passes, Dean.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:22 AM
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There is going to be a free preview of NHL Center Ice from Sept. 29-Oct.9, however I have yet to see a schedule posted.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:59 AM
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Yeah I've been too busy lately to post about that hit but it was dirty as all get out. Downie is a punk, plain and simple.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:09 PM
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http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=219415&hubname=

Downie gets 20 games for the hit. Kinda surprised at the length of it.
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Old 09-28-07, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TheNightFlier
http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=219415&hubname=
Kinda surprised at the length of it.

Tim Panaccio interviewed Colin Campbell and he had this to say

NHL Lord of Discipline, Colin Campbell has suspended Flyers' forward Steve Downie for 20 games for head hunting on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond during Tuesday's 4-2 loss in Ottawa.

"This issue was our angst over the summer," Campbell told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "People don't think we have been tough enough on head shots. We worked all summer with players and coaches and [general] managers. We showed them a video of 52 hits on what we're talking about. We showed the video again to every player in training camp.

"If you leave your feet, if you target an opponent's head, if you hit an unsuspecting, or target a player ... There is no doubt there was also intent here, as well. This hit contained all five criteria."

He told me, “This boy left his feet, targeted the head and stalked the player. [McAmmond] had no expectation of this hit and [Downie] drilled him. We felt we saw retribution in the cards once [Downie] was hit himself.

“We’re not saying shoulder hits to the head are illegal. Only if all the other criteria come into play. We don’t want to take shoulder hits to the head out of the game.”


and

Before Campbell made his ruling, he canvassed opinion from the NHL's competition committee. He said the consensus from the committee was that the Downie hit represented the "exact" hit the NHL wants to eliminate from the game.
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Old 09-28-07, 04:44 PM
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Good for Campbell and the NHL.
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Old 09-29-07, 03:45 PM
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Kings looked pretty damn good today. Their young goalie Bernier made some terrific saves. Bertuzzi looks like he is in good shape again too. He was the best player on the ice for the Ducks. Good to have hockey back.
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Old 09-30-07, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr_Evil
Kings looked pretty damn good today. Their young goalie Bernier made some terrific saves. Bertuzzi looks like he is in good shape again too. He was the best player on the ice for the Ducks. Good to have hockey back.
I would agree with you on that. But as you know being a Kings fan its a long long road to the end. I just hope they can keep it together for a full season this time around
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Old 09-30-07, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by So_Cal_SAHM
I would agree with you on that. But as you know being a Kings fan its a long long road to the end. I just hope they can keep it together for a full season this time around
As do I as after my money keeper league, I realized I drafted 4 Kings: Cammalleri, Kopitar, Frolov, and Preissing which was shocking to me!
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Old 09-30-07, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by So_Cal_SAHM
I would agree with you on that. But as you know being a Kings fan its a long long road to the end. I just hope they can keep it together for a full season this time around

You know as well as anyone the Kings start off great and then implode.

Glad the season is back, though.
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Old 09-30-07, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by nickdawgy
You know as well as anyone the Kings start off great and then implode.

Glad the season is back, though.

So sad but true. I'm glad the season has started back up as well. I just love the sound of Bob Miller in the afternoon
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Old 10-01-07, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by So_Cal_SAHM
So sad but true. I'm glad the season has started back up as well. I just love the sound of Bob Miller in the afternoon

Nice seeing you on the boards again, by the way.
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Old 10-02-07, 08:41 PM
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Got an email from the NHL site today about this new book:Inaugural NHL book



Looks pretty sweet, but not enough info on the website: size? pages? # of pics? I'll have to look for this at the bookstore before I decide to purchase.
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