Tab Bamford of Bleacher Nation Blackhawks talked about the life and legacy of late Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on “9 Good Minutes” on WGN News Now.

CHICAGO — It’s a time of mourning and reflection for current and former members of the Chicago Blackhawks franchise after the death of their leader this week.

W. Rockwell Wirtz, better known to everyone as Rocky, died at the age of 70 this week after a brief illness. He was just the fifth principal owner in the history of the team, serving as the Blackhawks’ chairman since 2007 when his brother Peter passed it to him following his father Bill’s death.

During Wirtz’s with the franchise, the team did a complete transformation both on an off the ice, as the owner brought the Blackhawks into a new era with a number of moves that pleased old fans and attracted new ones.

Rocky was always around the United Center, visible in the stands instead of the suites and constantly interacting with those rooting for the Blackhawks.

Quickly the team blossomed into one of the NHL’s elite, making the playoffs nine-straight seasons, winning three Stanley Cups, which were the first for the franchise since the early 1960s.

The later years of his tenure saw a decline on the ice as players from the dynasty era left or retired. In October 2021 came the release of the Jenner and Block report, which hurt the reputation of the team and caused a reckoning within the franchise.

Rocky’s own angry responses to questions during a town hall meeting in February 2022 on changes being made after the report’s release were widely criticized and condemned.

In his final days, the team underwent a major rebuild under new general manager Kyle Davidson, said goodbye to Blackhawks icons Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, then the NHL Lottery win along with the drafting of much-heralded prospect Connor Bedard.

So the question for many is what is the legacy of Rocky Wirtz with the Blackhawks’ franchise?

Tab Bamford, who has written on the Blackhawks during all of his ownership of the team, joined “9 Good Minutes” on WGN News Now to discuss that along with how the team moves forward with a new leader.

You can watch his full conversation with Larry Hawley in the video above.