Blackhawks show class in letter to Boston

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

I, for one, am extremely tired of thug athletes dominating the sports headlines. This week, it was former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez being charged with murder. It seems every time I turned on the television, whether it was ESPN or one of the networks, there was a story about the 23-year-old multi-millionaire football player and the charges he was facing. I can’t count the number of times I saw him being escorted from his home with his arms handcuffed behind his back. I understand this is a big story, but enough is enough.

I’d much rather have seen more coverage given to a letter I happened to read online. It originally appeared in the Boston Globe last Friday (June 28). It was from Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and team chairman John McDonough.

The full-page ad read as follows:

An open letter to the Boston Bruins organization and the city of Boston:

Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experienced the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.

On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the entire Wirtz Corporation, we want to personally express our heartfelt appreciation to your city, the Bruins organization, and especially the citizens of Boston for the remarkable welcome you showed our team and the many Chicagoans who visited.

From Boston’s political leadership to every member of the Bruins organization; from the players to the people on the streets, you demonstrated respect, good sportsmanship and a genuine love for the great game of hockey.

Like the rest of the world, Chicagoans have been reminded in recent days of Boston’s strength. Please know we tip our hat to your city’s big heart and gracious spirit. You lead by example, and have set the bar very high for others to follow.


Rocky Wirtz

Chairman, Wirtz Corporation

John McDonough

President & CEO, Chicago Blackhawks

This is the type of story I’d prefer to hear about and report on instead of the other type of trash that captures the headlines. I say congratulations to Wirtz and McDonough for winning the Stanley Cup, and more importantly, for behaving in a classy manner after doing so!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the July 3-9, 2013, issue

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