Sports book gambling handicappers recall that not all that long ago the Chicago Blackhawks were one of the least appealing on line sports gambling commodities on the board.
Chicago had 4 consecutive losing seasons on the hockey betting board before turning the corner with a 40-34-0-8 mark in 2008. Just as important the Blackhawks went from being an after-thought in sports crazed Chicago to being the hottest ticket in town.
For most of the past 10 years the Blackhawks were back page news behind the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and White Sox and played before half empty United Center crowds but those days are long since passed as Rocky Wirtz, who assumed control of the franchise upon the death of his father William, “Dollar Bill” Wirtz, has completely flipped the franchise all the way around with fan friendly programs.
The Wirtz name has gone from one of the least respected in all of sports book gambling to one of the most respected, if not revered. Rocky is greeted by hundreds of fans at each game thanking him for turning around this franchise that was one of the original six in the NHL.
In their game 1 betting on NHL matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers to begin the Stanley Cup Final the Blackhawks enjoyed their 100th consecutive sellout and scored a thrilling 6-5 win.
The sports book gambling turnaround in Chicago began with Wirtz, who hired John McDonough away from the baseball Cubs to run the team. McDonough has been instrumental in building back the fan base and increasing interest.
The hiring of Stan Bowman, son of coaching legend Scott Bowman, as general manager was another coup. Scott is also on board as a consultant.
Another big factor in Chicago’s success with the Stanley Cup odds was the hiring of Joel Quenneville as head coach. Quenneville brought an immediate presence and credibility to the locker room and has taken the Blackhawks to heights unimagined just 5 years ago.
Rocky Wirtz, however, was the ultimate catalyst to this remarkable turnaround and has proven to be one of the top owners in all of sports.