CHICAGO (CBS)– The book, “The Breakaway,” reveals the Wirtz family’s inside story and their time with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, spoke with CBS 2’s Rob Johnson and discuss the book, which reveals family details many do not know.
For example, Wirtz seems to be wildly admirered, but eh said it was not always that way.
“Growing up, everyone wanted to ‘boo’ the Wirtz name in any way,” he said.
Thanks to the years of perceived neglect of the team by his father, Bill because he kept the games off TV and exiled Bobby Hull in the early ’70s, one of the greatest of all time.
“It all started when Bobby left because what many people don’t realize is when Bobby left, he was as big as Michael Jordan when he left Chicago,” Wirtz said.
Wirtz said he thinks the most surprising aspect of the book is that there is “dysfunction” in his family.
Rocky Wirtz’s grandfather, Arthur created the Wirtz Corporation. Upon Arthur’s death in 1983, Bill, Rocky’s dad, took over making moves that Rocky did not always agree with.
“My grandfather and my dad, I respected them greatly,” Wirtz said. “They were good businessmen, they had their beliefs, their belief is what they thought was right.”
It all changed with Bill’s death in 2007. Rocky, the eldest of five children began to run the corporation.
With no hockey experience, he took over the Blackhawks.
Within two and half years, they won the first of three Stanley Cups in six years. They went from reviled to revered.
However, Wirtz’s brother Peter had resigned from the team.
“That’s their call, I don’t have an unlisted number,” Wirtz said. “When we won the cup in 2010, they [family members] all got rings, they were invited to the parade and if they chose not to show that was their business.”
According to Forbes, the Blackhawks are worth more than five times what they were in 2007.
Wirtz is now on a mission to sell this book to benefit Blackhawks charities.