Chicago Blackhawks: Rocky Wirtz

Special-teams assist ruffled no feathers

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
8:33
PM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- When Chicago Blackhawks Director of Player Development Barry Smith took the ice during practice last month to help the team improve its special teams play during its nine-game losing streak, observers wondered if the unorthodox move caused any behind-the-scenes tension.

Smith, the right-hand man of Hawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman during much of Bowman’s Hall of Fame career and a part of five Stanley Cup championships, did, in fact, help improve the Hawks’ penalty kill almost immediately.

But one Toronto paper linked the move to perceived dysfunction in the Hawks’ front office, a suggestion at which team owner Rocky Wirtz scoffed.

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Blackhawks turn into model franchise

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
6:03
PM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Even with their boisterous United Center neighbors off on an extended vacation, the Blackhawks accept their relatively subordinate position on Chicago's sports landscape gracefully.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
51 22 29 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 22
AssistsP. Kane 29
+/-J. Toews 16
GAAC. Crawford 2.26