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BLOG: The Breakaway dives deep into the Wirtz family story

Rocky Wirtz and author Bryan Smith discussed their new book at the 2018 Blackhawks Convention

by Chris Wescott /

To kick off the second day at the 2018 Blackhawks Convention, Chairman Rocky Wirtz took the stage in the International Ballroom to discuss the release of his book The Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Wirtz Family Business and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Joining him was Hall of Famer Tony Esposito, author Bryan Smith, and Team Historian Bob Verdi.

When first approached about the book, Wirtz said he told Smith it needed to do two things: tell the truth - not sugarcoat the story - and all proceeds had to benefit the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation.

Smith agreed and set out to tell the truth, which turned out to be "Shakespearean" in his words.

"It's important to me to make a book powerful and resonate with readers, not to write a valentine," Smith said. "You readers want to see that. You want to know what really happened."

Smith said this is a book about a family empire, their rise, and hardships. As Wirtz explained, there's plenty of dysfunction.

"Every family has dysfunction," Wirtz said. "If anyone tells you they don't, I'll tell you they're lying.

"In spite of that, we were still able to survive, work together and persevere. "

"This made for a terrific story, beyond sports," said Smith.

You may pre-order your copy today on All proceeds and donations benefit the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation.

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