Wirtz Corporation officially purchases Chicago Steel junior hockey team originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Steel, who have been one of the most-consistent teams in the United States Hockey League in recent years, will have new owners, as the Wirtz Corporation has officially purchased the club from Larry Robbins.
Robbins, who purchased the Steel in 2015 and moved them to the Fox Valley Ice Arena in suburban Geneva, made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
“While my heart tells me to continue on the journey with the Steel in perpetuity, my head tells me that the organization needs a different owner, a better owner, a more resourceful owner, to continue to elevate the franchise,” Robbins said in a letter to fans.
The Wirtz Corporation, which owns the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, will take over operations of the team immediately, according to a press release. The Wirtz Corporation also purchased the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, in 2021.
According to the release, the team will retain its hockey and business leadership as they transition to new ownership, and Robbins will remain with the team in an advisory capacity.
The Steel have won two Clark Cup championships in recent years, and have been one of the top teams in the league both in terms of win-loss record but also in terms of the players they have produced. Owen Power, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, was a member of the Steel, as was 2023 No. 3 overall pick Adam Fantilli.
Center Macklin Celebrini, who could potentially be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, also plays for the Steel.