2 December 2012

Board of the Lockout: Part Two

[Now updated to cover all 30 teams]

Much of the frustration of fans and players during the ongoing NHL work stoppage / owners' lockout / "lack of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement" has been that while players have been entirely free to express their opinions and put their names to in-no-way-at-all-coordinated social media commentary on their league adversaries, the NHL's gag order on team executives leaves everyone in the dark about whether there is a split among owners or what Lou Lamoriello would put on his Instagram account.

As the NHL Board of Governors prepares to meet later this week in order to decide exactly what to select next from their vast menu of P.R. screw ups, little is known about many of the diverse individuals rich, old, white men that sit on the Board.

Here is a brief snippet of information on these people, resulting from several months of investigative journalism (bolstered by 10-15 minutes skimming Wikipedia and bios on team websites):

Anaheim Ducks: Henry Samueli
After acquiring the team from the Walt Disney Company and changing its name from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, to avoid being associated with a Mickey Mouse operation, Mr. Samueli is presumably recommending to the Board of Governors that the league in future be known as the National Hockey League of Mighty F***- ups for the reverse reason.

Boston Bruins: Jeremy M. Jacobs
Serving on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and described as "a leading advocate for tourism in the United States", Mr. Jacobs has been credited with the recent upsurge in visitors to destinations such as Providence, RI, Peoria, IL and Oklahoma City.

Buffalo Sabres: Terrence M. Pegula
After apparently telling his business partner in 1983: “If I ever have more than two nickels to my name, I’m going to buy the Buffalo Sabres one day”, Mr. Pegula has now been reprimanded by Commisioner Bettman and his fellow Governors for giving the impression to players that NHL franchises could possibly be worth in excess of 11 cents.

Calgary Flames: N. Murray Edwards
Mr. Edwards employs over 15,000 people across numerous companies, with an impressive 11,500 of these not having been acquired in lopsided trades with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Carolina Hurricanes: Peter Karmanos Jr.
69 years old and of Greek descent, Mr. Karmanos is viewed with some suspicion by his fellow Governors, who only know him as “that Chelios guy”.

Chicago Blackhawks: W. Rockwell "Rocky" Wirtz
Mr. Wirtz managed the Judge & Dolph Ltd liquor distributorship until October 2007, opting to step down thanks to the kindly suggestion of newly-drafted Patrick Kane that he could “handle it from here”.

Colorado Avalanche: Josh Kroenke
Although Mr. Kroenke’s father, Stan, is the owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which includes the Avalanche as well as several other sports franchises, the Avalanche are in the name of Josh, to satisfy NFL ownership restrictions that forbid a team owner being dumb enough to also be an NHL owner.

Columbus Blue Jackets: John P. McConnell
Mr. McConnell is CEO of Worthington Industries, a company whose philosophy is "an unwavering commitment to the customer, and one of the strongest employee/employer partnerships in American industry" and majority owner of the Blue Jackets, whose philosophy isn't.

Dallas Stars: Tom Gaglardi
In talking about his organisation's teamworking philosophy, Mr. Gaglardi states that "We will all be pulling the same rope", said rope being the one used to pull Senior Adviser, Bob Gainey's hand away from the telephone when he's thinking about calling Glen Sather.

Detroit Red Wings: Mike Ilitch
Despite having little or no direct involvement in the team’s achievements, each of Mr. Ilitch’s seven children has his or her name engraved on the Stanley Cup, barely leaving any room for Chris Osgood’s name.

Edmonton Oilers: Daryl Katz
After the empty threat to move his team and the stockpiling of successive lottery pick impact forwards, Mr. Katz is believed to be considering whether his next step is to add 1,723 NHL points to his resume or to just let Nail Yakupov live in his basement.

Florida Panthers: Cliff Viner
Mr. Viner is quoted as seeking three things when interviewing potential employees: "Character, character and character." Since this is clearly only one thing, it is believed the other two things are "willingness to accept an inflated salary to get my team above the salary floor and a large ticket-buying family".

Los Angeles Kings: Timothy J. Leiweke
As President and CEO of AEG, operators of over 100 entertainment and sporting venues, including Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam) and Wukesong Arena (Beijing), Mr. Leiweke is currently sharing with the Board his vast expertise at making money out of buildings with absolutely no hockey in them.

Minnesota Wild: Craig Leipold
Mr. Leipold "first was considered a potential owner or investor in the NBA ... He attributed this interest to the fact that he knew the sport of basketball well. He became interested in ownership of a professional ice hockey franchise because there were more opportunities than in basketball." It is unknown why Mr. Leipold has such an affinity with Commissioner Bettman.

Montreal Canadiens: Geoff Molson
A 40-year-old Twitter user, Mr. Molson's personal ambition is to someday be allowed by Jeremy Jacobs to speak at a Board meeting or to be allowed to get up to use the bathroom.

Nashville Predators: Joel Dobberpuhl
After turning down applications from Warren Woo, Thomas G. Cigarran, Christopher C. Cigarran, Herbert A. Fritch, DeWitt C. Thompson V and DeWitt C. Thompson VI in the belief they were fake names, the Board of Governors finally settled on accepting Mr. Dobberpuhl to be the representative of the Predators' ownership group.

New Jersey Devils: Lou Lamoriello
Despite the obvious differences in background, team-building philosophy and harmony with league officials, Mr. Lamoriello is understood to side with Rangers’ owner James Dolan on financial issues during Board meetings, as both teams derive the majority of their revenue from the attendance of Rangers fans.

New York Islanders: Charles B. Wang
In his business career, Mr. Wang was involved in many acquisitions said to involve “the immediate termination of top management and key employees”, two things which he hasn’t had to worry about in his hockey ownership career for some reason.

New York Rangers: James L. Dolan
Universally popular with Rangers fans, Mr. Dolan has earned lavish praise for his personnel decisions, such as not hiring Isiah Thomas as Rangers G.M. and not hiring Isiah Thomas as Rangers coach.

Ottawa Senators: Eugene Melnyk
Mr. Melynk is a significant investor in biopharmaceutical research and development, as evidenced by the impressive $16m commitment to trial technology designed to keep Sergei Gonchar on the ice beyond his natural human capabilities.

Philadelphia Flyers: Ed Snider
Thanks to Mr. Snider’s vision of "Take what you do well and grow it”, the local economy continues to experience double-digit annual growth in the Horrific Goaltending and Hypocritical Long-Term Contract sectors.

Phoenix Coyotes: Nathaniel H. League
A reclusive owner, who hasn’t been seen in public since June 2012.

Pittsburgh Penguins: David Morehouse
Mr. Morehouse is credited with increasing the Penguins' commercial success due to his emphasis on branding and marketing, concepts the NHL would love to capitalise on, stymied only by the league's failure to find a Penguins player to brand and market the absolute hell out of.

San Jose Sharks: Kevin Compton
Mr. Compton assumed the role of the Sharks’ governor when fellow owner, Greg Jamison, became involved with a group looking to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, but is due to relinquish the position back to Mr. Jamison when the Coyotes sale process finally falls through in the year 2435.

St. Louis Blues: Tom Stillman
As the newest member of the NHL Board of Governors, Mr. Stillman was recently subjected to a traumatic and lengthy rookie hazing ritual, by being forced to attend a meeting of the NHL Board of Governors.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Jeff Vinik
After becoming owner of the Lightning, Mr. Vinik pledged to construct a team of which fans would be proud "on and off the ice", and has taken under three years to fulfil both parts of that mission.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Larry Tanenbaum
Mr. Tanenbaum also serves as a Governor for the NBA's Toronto Raptors and MLS team, Toronto FC, thus gaining valuable insight from almost trebling his exposure to executives of sports teams more successful than his.

Vancouver Canucks: Francesco Aquilini
Mr. Aquilini is described as “both a starter and closer”, making the number of Italian-Canadian starters associated with the Canucks two / one. [Delete as appropriate depending on whether you are reading before or after one minute past the end of the lockout]

Washington Capitals: Ted Leonsis
Mr. Leonsis also serves on the board of directors of Groupon, though his ideas about making offers involving ridiculous discounts with several unattractive conditions attached are understood to be thought of as “extreme and unrealistic” by the Groupon board.

Winnipeg Jets: Mark Chipman
Long before re-locating the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, Mr. Chipman and his ownership group moved the Moose from Minnesota to Manitoba, the remainder of his vast fortune in the Canadian logistics industry presumably earned from delivering beavers to Saskatchewan, maple syrup to Nunavut and bags of milk to Don Cherry's Eskimo farm.

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