NHL: Blackhawks Players Refuse to Criticize Owner Rocky Wirtz Despite Lockout

James MaahsContributor IIIOctober 11, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23: Viktor Stalberg #25, Patrick Kane #88, Jonathan Toews #19 and Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks watch the closing minutes from the bench against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 4-0 to win the series 4 games to 2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The NHL is currently on hiatus and members of the Chicago Blackhawks, while angry over the break, aren't directing their blame at owner Rocky Wirtz.

Star winger Patrick Kane said that it's part of Wirtz's job to side with the owners on the issues. (via Jesse Rogers ESPN):

For all Rocky has done for the Blackhawks, myself personally, and the stuff around Chicago you can't be too mad at him. He's an owner. It's a part of his job. We're each kind of battling from different sides, but it doesn't mean we're not going to be friends when it all gets figured out ... They have their opinion, we have ours.

Many Blackhawks like owner Wirtz and have become friends with him since he took over after his father's death. The players are also wise not to criticize Wirtz given that he will resume his role as their boss once the NHL comes to terms with the NHLPA.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews even suggested that the NHL would be better run if it did business the way the Blackhawks organization does.

A suggestion such as that shows the respect players have for the Blackhawks organization and Rocky Wirtz.

Toews has been holding regular on-ice practices at Johnny's Ice House since this month-long lockout began. He tried to remain optimistic about the pending meetings with the NHL and NHLPA.

We're always optimistic. Every time there are talks it means we're getting somewhere. It's better than not talking.

Even Sidney Crosby, center for the Pittsburgh Penguins, holds an optimistic attitude towards these scheduled meetings. (via SI.com):

It's still early. There's still time for decisions to be made and time to make sure nobody does something they're going to regret.

The NHL and NHLPA held meetings in New York on Thursday to discuss minor agenda items, but nothing dealing with the major economic issues.

As the meetings draw on, more of the NHL regular season is in jeopardy of being lost.

In the meantime, fans sit waiting for hockey to start again so that they can watch their favorite teams play for a chance at the Stanley Cup.


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