Hinostroza, who is from Chicago’s suburbs, was about to play in his first preseason game for the Blackhawks at the United Center, and Rutili knew how monumental that was for Hinostroza.
“Going to watch Vinnie at a home game in front of 20,000, knowing his dream to play for the Blackhawks and seeing him out there and watching the national anthem and seeing on the bench and wondering what’s going through his mind, it’s pretty rewarding,” Rutili said.
Rutili is invested in Hinostroza in a number of ways. For one, he’s his agent. Rutili, who grew up in Addison, Illinois, is a partner at the Chicago-based Acme World Sports, which represents Hinostroza and other NHL players. Two, Rutili also coached Hinostroza at a younger age with the Chicago Mission.
The 44-year-old Rutili first fell in love with hockey playing as a child in the Chicago suburbs and and has found a way to stay involved in it by combining his passions of hockey, coaching and business. In addition to being with Acme World Sports, he also is the Fox Valley Cyclones director of hockey in Geneva, Ill.
Rutili said Acme World Sports founder and president Markus Lehto and Bill Zito, who used to be with Acme World Sports and is now a front-office executive with the Columbus Blue Jackets, played roles in his success. But more than anyone, Rutili especially shared how much his late brother-in-law Tim Breslin meant to him. Breslin was a former professional hockey player and died of cancer in 2005 at the age of 37. The Chicago Wolves have a memorial scholarship in his name.
“He was a guy that was certainly a big brother to me,” Rutili said. “A guy I looked up to, had a big impact on me, certainly when I was playing, certainly when I was coaching. To this day, I still think about him every day.”
Rutili had planned to coach the Mission with Breslin before he passed away. Rutili spent six years with the Mission before being recruited to join Acme World Sports. He has been with Acme World Sports for seven years and has been influential in the agency’s recent draft success. The agency had 10 players selected in 2015 draft and nine in the 2014 draft.
Rutili often doesn't have to leave Chicago to talk to his clients. Acme World Sports represents or advises a number of players in the Blackhawks system, including Hinostroza, Teuvo Teravainen, Ville Pokka, Tanner Kero, Anthony Louis, Roy Radke and Joni Tuulola.
“I do think it’s a coincidence,” said Rutili, who attended Fenwick High School. “Obviously we have a strong relationship with [the Blackhawks] and there’s mutual respect between us. I just think we have players that they think fit, whether it’s Roy Radke, Vince Hinostroza in the sixth round or Tanner Kero. They look for certain attributes in certain players and for whatever reason we have players who have those attributes.”