The resurgence hasn't yet translated to the turnstiles. Through the first 21 home games the team averaged 14,584 fans in the 20,500-seat United Center, ranking them 25th out of 30 teams. That is well up, however, from the last three seasons: 13,253 (2003-04), 13,319 (2005-06) and 12,757 (2006-07).
And Sunday night's game against the visiting Kings was the second straight sellout.
Blackhawks spokesman Jim DeMaria said the walk-up sales are among the highest in the league. Though the club didn't provide specific numbers on season-ticket sales, the figure is reportedly around 6,200 with the ultimate goal being 10,000.
Still, it's a far cry from the standing-room-only crowds in old Chicago Stadium.
Perhaps if anyone can turn things around it is Rocky Wirtz, who has managed to reshape the franchise without trampling his dad's legacy.
The elder Wirtz ran the Blackhawks for 41 years but developed a reputation as a penurious owner, often unwilling to pay the going rate for his top players. He refused to let home games be televised and, at one point, raised ticket prices even as the Blackhawks were floundering.
Routinely referred to as "Dollar Bill," he was once called by ESPN the worst owner in sports because of his stringent policies.
Rocky Wirtz understood the criticism, but the attacks on his father cut deep.
"It's something my siblings and I grew up with," he said. "It comes with the territory when you're in the public eye. Unfortunately, people get hit around you with the same cannon fodder."
At the funeral, Bill Wirtz was remembered as one of the most influential people in hockey and for his role in building the privately financed United Center.
"Dad was a strong man," said the 55-year-old Wirtz. "He was a very principled man and, many times, that principle was something people wouldn't agree with. But you have to respect him. You knew where he stood."
As soon as Wirtz took over, it was clear change was coming.
First he reassigned longtime vice president Bob Pulford to a non-hockey position. Many fans saw Pulford as one of the reasons the franchise had fallen so low.
Then Wirtz worked out a deal with Comcast SportsNet to show home games. He understood that such a move would not hurt attendance, as his father had feared. By early December, the proof was in: attendance was up an average of 1,000 a game.
Then last month, he lured John McDonough from the Cubs to become the Blackhawks president. McDonough is considered Chicago's best sports marketing executive, having made historic Wrigley Field a destination despite the Cubs' middling success.
"For a whole host of reasons, we offended them," Wirtz said of the team's fans. "They were offended and they weren't going to give the Wirtzes their money.
"I think the fans want to see us succeed. They want us to do well. Just give them a reason to come back."
Murray agreed, adding: "Hockey needs Chicago. The NHL needs Chicago to be good."