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LITTLE BIG MAN OF THE BLACK HAWKS
Mark Mulvoy
May 07, 1973
A heavy burden rests on diminutive Pat Stapleton's shoulders—a chip, too—as the Chicago defenseman skates against Montreal
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May 07, 1973

Little Big Man Of The Black Hawks

A heavy burden rests on diminutive Pat Stapleton's shoulders—a chip, too—as the Chicago defenseman skates against Montreal

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"Cripes," he said, "I can't do five pushups. Tell them I'll be there after practice. About noon."

" Dun and Bradstreet also called," Joyce said. "They wanted to know how many employees we have. I told them 32 full-time people and about 32 part-time."

"Good," he said.

On one wall of Stapleton's sparsely furnished office was a map of metropolitan Chicago studded with colored pins. "There are exactly 29 rinks in the Chicago area," Stapleton said. "The orange dots are the commercial rinks, the yellow dots municipal rinks, the red dots our rinks, the blue dots rinks we hear have been proposed and the red-blue dots rinks we are planning to build ourselves."

At present Icearena Inc. has two rinks in operation, one at Downers Grove, the other at Carol Stream, both within 20 minutes of the company's offices. "Rinks are a nickel-and-dime business," he said. "We're not going to make any quick bucks from them. I think, though, we are on the good side of what will be a great hockey wave in Chicago. I can see the day when there will be 150 or 175 rinks in Chicago."

For $600,000, Icearena can provide a so-called turn-key operation in just 120 days. "That includes everything from paper clips to the Zamboni resurfacing machine to one American and one Canadian Hag over the scorekeeper's bench," Stapleton said.

Picking up the phone, he dialed a mortgage broker in New York.

"Jim, are you still talking to me after your Rangers bit the dust?" he said. Then: "What do you mean 11�%. We got 7�% on our first building and 8�% on the second. When's the rate coming down, anyway?"

When Stapleton put down the phone, Carol, the bookkeeper, came into the office with Glassford. "This is a list of delinquent people," she said. "I've sent them two letters already and given them a date when we'll send their bills to a collection agency. Do I give them a third chance—or what?"

Stapleton looked perplexed. "I'd pound it to them," Glassford said. "No, I guess Pat has his P.R. image to consider." After discussing the alternatives, Stapleton decided that he would send personal letters to the delinquents.

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