The Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz (a gazillionaire who also owns giant realty, beverage, insurance corporations among other stuff), took out a full page ad in the Boston Globe thanking the Boston Bruins and the people of Boston for a great series and the hospitality they were shown as visitors. The Blackhawks defeated the Bruins in six games (with a really stunning finish) to win the Stanley Cup.
The letter reads:
Thank you: An open letter to the Boston Bruins organization and the city of Boston
Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent, and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experienced the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.
On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the entire Wirtz Corporation, we want to personally express our heartfelt appreciation to your city, the Bruins organization, and especially, the citizens of Boston for the remarkable welcome you showed our team and the many Chicagoans who visited.
From Boston’s political leadership to every member of the Bruins organization, from the players to the people on the streets, you demonstrated respect, good sportsmanship, and a genuine love for the great game of hockey.
Like the rest of the world, Chicagoans have been reminded in recent days of Boston’s strength. Please know we tip our hat to your city’s big heart and gracious spirit. You lead by example and have set the bar very high for others to follow.
It’s a super classy thing to do, and something that seems to come naturally out of hockey. The hockey playoffs are long (four best-of-7 rounds), and by the end they feel somewhere in the middle between the Iditarod and the NBA Finals. A really hard-fought series always has a kind of violent intimacy to it, and the handshake lines at the end of each series show genuine respect between opponents.
There is of course, the undertone of the Boston Marathon Bombing. That event, horrific as it was, has gotten an outsized response, but hey, if that leads people to be really nice to each other, then all the better.