As you know, my father William W. Wirtz recently passed away. I deeply loved my father and had the wonderful opportunity to work closely with him for over 25 years. In addition to teaching me everything a father teaches his son about how to love, live, and give back to society, he taught me so many other lessons that I will have for the rest of my life. He was a man of his word and a man of great integrity and honor. I truly relished in being his lieutenant and felt spiritually connected to helping and supporting my father in any way I could.
Since my father’s passing I have had the opportunity to put some deep thought into my current employment with the Chicago Blackhawks where I hold an executive position of Vice President and also serve on the United Center Joint Venture Executive Committee. After over 20 years with the Blackhawks and 14 years with the United Center Joint Venture, I have elected to resign from both positions. With my father gone, I have served this tour of duty with the Blackhawks and have chosen to step down so that my bother Rocky can instill new and fresh leadership into the organization.
My brother brings with him a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm from my family’s other businesses and I know he will be successful in leading and directing the team for many years to come. He will serve in the capacity of Chairman and he has my full cooperation and support during this transition. All of the current management staff that work for the Blackhawks are very competent, dedicated and good people, and the team is in good hands. Through Rocky’s leadership and Dale Tallon’s and Denis Savard’s commitment to winning the Stanley Cup, our fans will have a lot to cheer about for many years to come. There are no two finer men and comrades than Dale & Denis and I am honored to have been able to work side by side with them and call them my friends.
To Bob Pulford I say thank you for all of your loyalty and friendship to my father and I. You taught us many things about the game through your long career as a player, coach, General Manager and senior advisor. To all of our other management staff and past & present players, I will truly miss you and thank you for all of your support, hard work and efforts. We went through many highs and lows together; however one thing that remained constant was your dedication to the great sport of hockey and the fans.
To all of the United Center executives, managers and hourly team members- Thank you for all of the support and outstanding service to the Blackhawks and our fans. There is no finer building in the world and the Blackhawks have been proud to call the United Center our home since 1994. Finally I want to thank all of the Blackhawk fans throughout the world for your support. We are developing a special team that you will be proud of for many years to come.
Going forward I will remain active with the Blackhawks during a transitional period. I will continue to own and operate Bismarck Enterprises and serve as President, which I founded back in 1983. I will also serve as a co-executor and trustee to my father’s estate. Finally I will continue to carry on my father’s legacy of reaching out and touching people during their time of need and treating people with class, dignity and respect.
I thank you for all of your support and to have had the opportunity to serve and work with all of you. Hockey is the greatest sport in the world and I have been blessed to have been associated with it throughout my life. I have been proud and honored to have been one of the gate keepers for the sacred Indian Head and will forever have it close to my heart.
Thank you for the wonderful memories.
Best personal regards,
Peter R. Wirtz