After Peter Wirtz resigns, brother Rocky takes over
CHICAGO -- Peter Wirtz resigned as vice president of the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and his older brother, Rocky, took over as the team's chairman.
The change comes after the death last month of their father and longtime Blackhawks chairman, William Wirtz.
"My brother, Peter, informed me of his decision to leave his role as vice president of the Blackhawks," Rocky Wirtz said. "While I had hoped that Peter would stay on and help in rebuilding the Chicago Blackhawks into a winning and successful franchise, I respect his decision. He has worked at my father's side for many years and has decided, at this time, to change his focus."
Peter Wirtz, 47, will now run Bismarck Enterprises, one of the family's food service businesses.
"With my father gone, I ... have chosen to step down so that my brother Rocky can instill new and fresh leadership into the organization," Peter Wirtz said in a statement.
William Wirtz, who was 77 when he died from cancer, compiled a fortune in a number of businesses, including real estate and liquor. He had been the team's chairman for 41 years.
Rocky Wirtz, 55, is expected to do a complete evaluation of the team. The Blackhawks have not won the Stanley Cup since 1961 and struggled for most of the past decade with poor records and dwindling attendance.
"I look forward to working with general manager Dale Tallon and head coach Denis Savard," Rocky Wirtz said. "I feel the team is in good hands under Dale's guidance and leadership."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press