CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Chicago Blackhawks franchise is in mourning over the passing of franchise owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz. The Blackhawks announced Tuesday night that Wirtz has passed away at the age of 70.

Wirtz has been the team chairman since 2007. The franchise has been in the Wirtz family since 1954 when Rocky’s grandfather Arthur bought it.

The Blackhawks described Wirtz’ passing as “sudden” in a news release. No cause of death was given.

The Rockford IceHogs AHL franchise is owned by the Chicago Blackhawks. Wirtz was in Rockford a couple years ago to help announce the purchase. The IceHogs released the following statement regarding Wirtz’ passing.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Rocky Wirtz. He valued the importance of growing the game and what the development system meant for the future of the Blackhawks. Rockford and the IceHogs organization will forever be thankful for the legacy he left here with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wirtz family.”