The Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup
Photo: Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune

June 9, 2010

ESPN had named Chicago’s perennial hockey losers “the worst franchise in sports” in 2004. But when Rocky Wirtz became the team’s owner three years later after the death of his father, Bill, who was hated by fans as a penny pincher, he ushered in a new regime that actually cared about winning. Within a few years, the Hawks were hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in half a century, and would do it again two more times in the next five years, marking one of the most dramatic turnarounds in Chicago sports history.