Owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz Derails Blackhawks Town Hall Event

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Owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz Derails Blackhawks Town Hall Event

Chicago Blackhawks

Folks … I present to you exhibits A and B as to why my jaw is still on the floor.

This is as shocking as it is unacceptable. You have to watch the videos to really see just how much:

The Chicago Blackhawks, led by Owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz, President of Business Operations Jaime Faulkner, and broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, held a “Town Hall” event tonight that was supposed to be about the future of the organization and the search for a new, permanent GM. While that was the intention of the event, you knew questions were going to come at the three representatives of the organization about the 2010 sexual assault investigation involving Kyle Beach.

Rocky Wirtz would have none of it, and he wanted to make sure everyone knew he would have none of it.

Berating The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and later the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Thompson after questions about what the Blackhawks are doing in the fallout from the investigation and the settlement(s), team owner Rocky Wirtz threw the entire 48-minute event off the rails. It was unbelievable to see Wirtz shout down Lazerus and Thompson when the investigation was brought up. The video speaks for itself, because even just writing out the responses doesn’t really capture the exchanges.

This event was supposed to be an opportunity for the club, among other things, to actually move forward from the fallout of the Kyle Beach and “John Doe 2” investigations. If Wirtz simply said, in a calm manner, “we are not going to discuss the details of those investigations/settlements,” fine. That I can accept, even though it would still be utter BS. But his reaction, going 0-to-100 on Lazerus and then trying to talk down to Thompson about his work at the Tribune, was unacceptable. Actually, when you consider the context further, it was disgusting. It was disgusting.

The Blackhawks should be embarrassed by Wirtz. Why would anyone support the current organization now? With what little goodwill they had, Wirtz destroyed the rest of it in minutes.

Danny Wirtz and Jaime Faulkner, prior to and after the outbursts from Rocky, were poised, collected, impressive even with their answers and their seemingly sincere display of wanting the best for the organization moving forward. But that all falls to the wayside thanks to the actions of the team’s owner.

I don’t know what happens next. All I know is that whatever THAT was, was not it.

Oh yeah, and the Blackhawks play tonight.

UPDATE: Three hours after the conclusion of the event, Blackhawks Owner Rocky Wirtz issued a statement regarding his outburst:

You can watch the entire event below.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.