The National Hockey League has been forced to suspend its season as a result of the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus around the world and it has caused some truly nightmarish logistical issues for thousands upon thousands of people in and around the hockey world. Some teams like the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins were quick to address concerns regarding how their employees would be taken care of as a result of this unexpected stoppage in play, but others were not so quick to respond.
Earlier today a journalist published what he described as "The Naughty List," a list of NHL owners, particularly wealthy NHL owners, that had not yet made a commitment to take care of their staff in spite of the fact that there would be no games played in the coming weeks, and perhaps even months. Featured prominently on that list was none other than Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, an owner that has often prided himself on his contributions to the Chicago community, but it seems it has not taken him very long at all to respond to that list with a no nonsense type of statement.
Wirtz, the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, released the statement in conjunction with Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago Bulls franchise in the National Basketball Association, which makes a great deal of sense when you consider the fact that both of the aforementioned franchises play out of the United Center in Chicago. Unlike some of the statements released by other organizations this one was not lengthy, in fact it was rather short and abrupt, but that only served to drive home the point that the Blackhawks and the Bulls clearly, and unequivocally, intend to stand by their employees regardless of how bad the situation becomes.
From the Blackhawks official website:
The United Center ownership and the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, on behalf of our front offices and players, will pay day-of-game employees through the remainder of the originally scheduled season. Our employees, whether they be front office staff, or our approximately 1,200 day-of-game staff, are family, and we will navigate this unprecedented situation together.
No doubt about where Wirtz stands on this issue.