Has Wirtz finally lost it completely? I'm not a Hawks fan but you have to think that ripping apart your scouting staff, withholding money from a GM for no apparent legally upholdable reason, and now the confusion over who is the next GM has to make one wonder what's next for that franchise? Truthfully, I don't think anyone sane would want that GM posting if you had to put up with that type of overbearing owner. I acknowledge that it is his team but at some point you have to treat people with some respect. If I were a Chicago fan I might be hoping that he sells the team if he's unhappy with the CBA.
I just read Pulford's comments about the lockout. Nothing like providing ammunition for the unions case that the NHL is not bargaining in good faith which is why Bettman has imposed this gag order. If you talk you make the NHL liable for possible litigation.
On the good side, the signing of Berard should mean Karpovtsev sees less time now, especially as Berard gets a few more games in. In last night's win vs. Nashville, Karpovtsev was 4th in ice time among D. That's the most pronounced on-ice gripe Hawks fans have.
I don't think Hawks fans (all 3 of them) want Wirtz to sell the team... no, that'd be too easy. They want Wirtz to suffer a massive heart attack and for his body not to be discovered for a couple of days so that he rots a bit.
Actually I think they'd rather have him sell the team and live happily ever after because his son, heir to the throne, could very well be worse.
Of course anyone who has a relative that suffered any kind of terrible death, wouldn't wish it on anyone -- even someone so apparently deserving as Wirtz (the boozing mizer).
However, the plain fact is, until he sells the team or dies and his son sells it, they will never be successful. Pittsburgh has a better chance of winning the Cup in the next 3-5 years than does Chicago. Especially if they bag Ovechkin (and he turns out to be anywhere near as good as people think he will be).
Wirtz is pathetic in every sense of the word. He has had every opportunity to make this a dominant franchise, and he p*sses each opportunity away without fail. He has every tool at his disposal over the years that Illitch and other wealthy owners have had, and he does NOTHING with them.
He p*ssed away the talent (Belfour, Roenick, Amonte, Chelios, etc etc)
He finds ways to keep the UC practically empty, instead of filling it.
He drives fans in the local market away by killing television rights.
He refuses to do anything that successful teams do. My guess is he uses the Hawks as a tax write-off. They can't possibly make money the way he runs the organization.
In short, because of Wirtz, the only game in town is the Chicago Wolves. The hockey is better, the tickets are actually affordable, and when you go there the fans actually make some noise. Not a bunch of white-collar weenies who look at you funny if you curse at a ref. Rest assured ther ARE great hockey fans all over Chicago, you just won't find them at the UC, since even average seats are $80 a pop and the concessions are obscene.