Wirtz inherited ownership of the Blackhawks after his father Bill died in late September 2007. It was three months after Patrick Kane was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick and one week before he made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks ahead of his rookie season.
On Wednesday morning, Kane released a statement on Twitter following the death of Wirtz:
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"Not only was Rocky Wirtz a great man and humble to the core, he was extremely loyal and generous to everyone, but especially to us players," Kane wrote. "He always made sure everything was first class for us. That mattered to him, just like winning and just like his family. My sympathy to his wife Marilyn, to his son Danny, and the entire Wirtz and Blackhawks family."