Five of the more in­ter­est­ing NHL owners

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GRE­GORY STRONG

In the lat­est edi­tion of NHL 100, we look at five of the more in­ter­est­ing owners — past and present — in league his­tory:


Unique, flam­boy­ant, feisty, vul­gar, colour­ful: all terms that could be used to de­scribe the for­mer owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bal­lard, who of­ten took in games at Maple Leaf Gardens from a bunker near the end boards, first be­came part-owner of the team in 1962. The team en­joyed suc­cess over the next few years but Bal­lard’s ten­ure as sole owner was marked by medi­ocre re­sults and plenty of grand­stand­ing and in­fight­ing off the ice. “When I get my hockey team or my arena on the front page I’m just do­ing my job,” he once said.

Bal­lard died in 1990 at age 86.


Leonsis has built quite a re­sume since grad­u­at­ing from Ge­orge­town Univer­sity in 1977. He’s the founder, chair, owner and CEO of the com­pany that owns and op­er­ates the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals and sev­eral other pro teams in the U.S. cap­i­tal.

Leonsis, who spent 14 years as an ex­ec­u­tive at AOL, is also an Emmy Award-win­ning film pro­ducer, phi­lan­thropist and au­thor.


Dolan is a rather po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure in New York as owner of the Rangers and the NBA’s Knicks. He’s not afraid to spend ex­or­bi­tant sums on player salaries but many fans are quick to crit­i­cize the logic be­hind some of the moves.

The free-spend­ing pat­tern has not paid off. The Rangers haven’t won the Stan­ley Cup since 1994 while the Knicks have made it past the first round just once since 2000.


Katz is work­ing to re­vi­tal­ize Ed­mon­ton’s down­town, and he’s off to a good start with a stun­ning 18,550seat arena that opened last year. With su­per­star Con­nor McDavid pro­vid­ing the an­chor, Katz’s hockey team is back on the right track af­ter a decade-long play­off drought.

Katz, who keeps a very low pro­file, made a for­tune in the phar­macy busi­ness and be­came owner of the Oil­ers in 2008.


Wang raised eye­brows dur­ing his 16-year run as owner of the New York Is­lan­ders. Chief among his un­usual moves was pro­mot­ing Garth Snow from backup goal­tender to GM in 2006, and sign­ing off on net­min­der Rick DiPi­etro’s 15-year con­tract later that year.

The team won just one play­off se­ries dur­ing Wang’s ten­ure. Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin took over as ma­jor­ity owners last sum­mer. Wang re­tained a mi­nor­ity stake.

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