Denis Savard Fired: Will Hockey Survive In Chicago?

Zachary CupkovicContributor IOctober 16, 2008

 For the first time in a decade, there is a definite hockey stench permeating the "Windy City."  

Not the musty smell of sweaty pads and socks, but rather the sweet smell of potential in a city laced with hockey tradition.  From bars to dinner tables across the 773 and 312 area codes, one can hear the familiar rumblings of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brian Campbell, and Martin Havlat.  

The buzz is infectious.  

After a valiant 40-34-8 record last season—and narrowly missing the playoffs—the Chicago Blackhawks now have a chance to make hockey fashionable again in Chicago. Yet after a 0-3 start to the regular season, owner Rocky Wirtz was not going to let another slow start ruin the teams chances at success and hockey's chances in Chicago.  

In order to keep the wind in the sails, the tough decision was made to fire Blackhawks legend and head coach Denis Savard, who had led the team for the last three seasons. The no-nonsense Savard knew that this was a critical year for him, as well as his team, but seemed just as surprised as everyone else that his firing had happened so soon.

NHL coaching veteran Joel Quinneville is Savard's replacement. With a young and talented team, we'll see if this change-for-the-sake-of-change scenario will work out in the Blackhawks' favor.  

The buzz that has enveloped Chicago took a decade to recapture. Now we will see if Wirtz, Quinneville, and the speedy and skilled kids on the rink can help keep that buzz alive in a city where sports are truly larger than life.