Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
"When the season ended in 2007, the Hawks ranked 29th out of 30 teams in attendance, averaging 12.727 fans per game. With the United Center often less than half-filled, you got a seat for yourself and another for your coat.
"Since then, there have been a zillion stories about the resurgence of the Hawks. Here's the ultimate confirmation: The Hawks are ranked No. 1 in the NHL, averaging 21,475 fans per game. They've gone from next-to-last to first in less than two years. Amazing."
"'The Blackhawks have experienced a cultural change that has developed a bit faster than anticipated,' [Jay Blunk, the Hawks senior vice-president of business operations] said."
I'll just say it: "cultural change" = Bill Wirtz died. Wirtz was the exact opposite of the best traits of Bill Veeck combined with George Steinbrenner. The post-Bill Wirtz 'Hawks are like a dog that's been moved from an abusive owner to a loving family, though I didn't expect to see them rebound this fast.