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Past Presidents of the NHL


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Guest habs1952

I know. That's why Bettman needs to go. Hockey really never has had anyone who is truly watching out for the sport's best interests - from Frank Calder on down. And we all know how bad Clarence Campbell was. The guy presided over two near-death experiences (Gordie Howe and Ted Greeen), an actual death (Bill Masterson), and barely survived one of the most infamous sports riots ever (The Richard Riot).

And believe it or not, I think Bettman is even worse than that with three labor stoppages in 8 years. I don't think he would have known how to deal with an icon like Richard, either.

Really? How can you call Campbell bad? He has no control over what happens during a game. As for Masterton, he got hit and hit his head on the ice. I'm actually surprised no one has died since.

Throughout his career, Richard was fined and suspended several times for retaliatory assaults on players and officials, including a $250 fine for slapping a linesman in the face less than three months before the March 13, 1955 incident.[On March 13, 1955, an on-ice episode sparked one of the worst incidents of hockey-related violence in history. On that date, Richard was part of a violent confrontation in a game between the Canadiens and rival Boston Bruins. The Bruins' Hal Laycoe, who had previously played defence for the Canadiens, high-sticked Richard in the head during a Montreal power play. Richard required five stitches to close a cut that resulted from the high-stick. Referee Frank Udvari signaled a delayed penalty, but allowed play to continue because the Canadiens had possession of the puck. When the play ended, Richard skated up to Laycoe, who had dropped his stick and gloves in anticipation of a fight, and struck him in the face and shoulders with his stick. The linesmen attempted to restrain Richard, who repeatedly broke away from them to continue his attack on Laycoe, eventually breaking a stick over his opponent's body before linesman Cliff Thompson corralled him. Richard broke loose again and punched Thompson twice in the face, knocking him unconscious.

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Really? How can you call Campbell bad? He has no control over what happens during a game. As for Masterton, he got hit and hit his head on the ice. I'm actually surprised no one has died since.

Throughout his career, Richard was fined and suspended several times for retaliatory assaults on players and officials, including a $250 fine for slapping a linesman in the face less than three months before the March 13, 1955 incident.[On March 13, 1955, an on-ice episode sparked one of the worst incidents of hockey-related violence in history. On that date, Richard was part of a violent confrontation in a game between the Canadiens and rival Boston Bruins. The Bruins' Hal Laycoe, who had previously played defence for the Canadiens, high-sticked Richard in the head during a Montreal power play. Richard required five stitches to close a cut that resulted from the high-stick. Referee Frank Udvari signaled a delayed penalty, but allowed play to continue because the Canadiens had possession of the puck. When the play ended, Richard skated up to Laycoe, who had dropped his stick and gloves in anticipation of a fight, and struck him in the face and shoulders with his stick. The linesmen attempted to restrain Richard, who repeatedly broke away from them to continue his attack on Laycoe, eventually breaking a stick over his opponent's body before linesman Cliff Thompson corralled him. Richard broke loose again and punched Thompson twice in the face, knocking him unconscious.

I know the particulars of the events leading up the Richard Riot. Jack Adams, the Red Wings GM at the time, once came out and said "It's a shame what we do to Maurice. But if we didn't stop him using measures fair or foul, he'd have run us off the ice." Toronto based it's entire "If you can beat them in the alley, you can beat them on the ice" strategy as a response to Richard beating them scoring-wise. Richard was the subject of more high-sticks, butt-ends, holding, and gang tactics to goad him into a fight than any other player during that period. Oftentimes, the officials would look the other way when the other teams would try to attack Richard. And Cliff Thompson did the absolute no-no for an official - grab a guy from behind and leaving him open to further punches or worse. Laycoe, who started the whole thing in the first place by high-sticking Richard and giving him some serious cuts requiring stitches later, never got penalized for starting the incident.

Was Richard a saint for his actions? No. But I agree with those who believe there were extenuating circumstances in most of the incidents he was involved in.

In the case of Gordie Howe and Ted Green, nobody got suspended, and Ted Kennedy, who injured Howe, only got a two-minute penalty. Wayne Maki, who injured Green in the vicious stickfight, did not receive anything beyond a mild fine.

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Guest habs1952

I know the particulars of the events leading up the Richard Riot. Jack Adams, the Red Wings GM at the time, once came out and said "It's a shame what we do to Maurice. But if we didn't stop him using measures fair or foul, he'd have run us off the ice." Toronto based it's entire "If you can beat them in the alley, you can beat them on the ice" strategy as a response to Richard beating them scoring-wise. Richard was the subject of more high-sticks, butt-ends, holding, and gang tactics to goad him into a fight than any other player during that period. Oftentimes, the officials would look the other way when the other teams would try to attack Richard. And Cliff Thompson did the absolute no-no for an official - grab a guy from behind and leaving him open to further punches or worse. Laycoe, who started the whole thing in the first place by high-sticking Richard and giving him some serious cuts requiring stitches later, never got penalized for starting the incident.

Was Richard a saint for his actions? No. But I agree with those who believe there were extenuating circumstances in most of the incidents he was involved in.

In the case of Gordie Howe and Ted Green, nobody got suspended, and Ted Kennedy, who injured Howe, only got a two-minute penalty. Wayne Maki, who injured Green in the vicious stickfight, did not receive anything beyond a mild fine.

Laycoe got a 5 minute major and a 10 minute misconduct for the high stick.

In the midst of a pre-season game, Maki knocked Green down from behind. The latter retaliated by slashing Maki, who hit the ice. Maki speared Green, who again sent Maki flying. The pair soon exchanged vicious slashes until Maki clubbed Green over the head, fracturing his skull.

Green needed three major operations to save his life and had a steel plate inserted in his head. Maki was suspended for 30 days and Green for 12 games when he returned to action one year later. Assault charges were filed against both players, who were later acquitted.

Kennedy saw Howe coming at the last moment, and was able to dodge Howe's check while passing the puck to Sid Smith, but Howe could not stop and crashed head-first into the boards, with Stewart falling on top of him. Howe sustained a concussion, facial fractures, and a lacerated right eyeball, and doctors had to perform emergency procedures on him at the hospital to save his life. Detroit coach Tommy Ivan and general manager Jack Adams accused Kennedy of deliberately butt-ending Howe. Kennedy had not been assessed a penalty on the play. After the game Kennedy said, "I don't know how he got it. I avoided his check along the boards and didn't feel anything hit me, although he may have struck my stick."

NHL President Clarence Campbell cleared Kennedy of wrongdoing and rebuked Detroit coach Tommy Ivan for accusing Kennedy of a deliberate attempt to injure the Red Wings' Gordie Howe.

NHL President Clarence Campbell was at the game and was seated near where the incident occurred. After receiving a report from the game's officials, Campbell called a news conference and said the injury was not Kennedy's fault. Campbell also publicly rebuked Ivan for his accusation, saying, "That is a pretty serious business and a very vicious charge." It was also argued that since Kennedy was a right-handed shot, the butt-end of his stick would have been towards the boards and away from Howe. Sportswriter Ted Reeve of the Toronto Telegram quipped, "How would a right handed stickhandler going down the left boards give anyone a butt end? Unless he wanted to lift the snappers out of someone in the rail seats."

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Laycoe got a 5 minute major and a 10 minute misconduct for the high stick.

In the midst of a pre-season game, Maki knocked Green down from behind. The latter retaliated by slashing Maki, who hit the ice. Maki speared Green, who again sent Maki flying. The pair soon exchanged vicious slashes until Maki clubbed Green over the head, fracturing his skull.

Green needed three major operations to save his life and had a steel plate inserted in his head. Maki was suspended for 30 days and Green for 12 games when he returned to action one year later. Assault charges were filed against both players, who were later acquitted.

Kennedy saw Howe coming at the last moment, and was able to dodge Howe's check while passing the puck to Sid Smith, but Howe could not stop and crashed head-first into the boards, with Stewart falling on top of him. Howe sustained a concussion, facial fractures, and a lacerated right eyeball, and doctors had to perform emergency procedures on him at the hospital to save his life. Detroit coach Tommy Ivan and general manager Jack Adams accused Kennedy of deliberately butt-ending Howe. Kennedy had not been assessed a penalty on the play. After the game Kennedy said, "I don't know how he got it. I avoided his check along the boards and didn't feel anything hit me, although he may have struck my stick."

NHL President Clarence Campbell cleared Kennedy of wrongdoing and rebuked Detroit coach Tommy Ivan for accusing Kennedy of a deliberate attempt to injure the Red Wings' Gordie Howe.

NHL President Clarence Campbell was at the game and was seated near where the incident occurred. After receiving a report from the game's officials, Campbell called a news conference and said the injury was not Kennedy's fault. Campbell also publicly rebuked Ivan for his accusation, saying, "That is a pretty serious business and a very vicious charge." It was also argued that since Kennedy was a right-handed shot, the butt-end of his stick would have been towards the boards and away from Howe. Sportswriter Ted Reeve of the Toronto Telegram quipped, "How would a right handed stickhandler going down the left boards give anyone a butt end? Unless he wanted to lift the snappers out of someone in the rail seats."

The whole point I've been trying to make here is, under Campbell's watch, is that violence had been allowed to make sense. And Richard was not the only recipient. I remember Campbell when he was league president, and he really did not impress me too much. Did he do some good things for hockey? Yes. He did usher in the era of expansion. But so many bad things happened under his watch - like the rise of the Flyers "Broad Street Bullies," an extension of the Toronto "If you can beat 'em in an alley, you can beat 'em on the ice" strategy.

Ken Dryden takes a long look at this issue in his book The Game.

And as for the incident where Maurice Richard went after Bob Bailey, which prompted the $250 fine when he slapped referee George Hayes, you can read all about this yourself in "Flying Frenchmen: Hockey's Greatest Dynasty," co-written by Richard and Stan Fischler. Bob Bailey had actually, according to Richard himself, tried to poke Richard's eyes out. That's what prompted the outburst. Richard later that season, prior to the incident that led to the riot, got into a situation where he grabbed referee Hugh McLean in a New York hotel lobby. He was upset about a call the game before. And one of his teammates, goaltender Gerry McNeil, was known as a practical joker. He did not know that Richard was upset at McLean when he suggested that Richard find out about what McLean was saying about him. It was meant to be a joke, but Richard was so upset about the night before that he did indeed grab the guy. Richard did not know McNeil was joking. It's all there - in Richard's own words in his own section of the book.

When I was in college, we were expressly prohibited from using Wikipedia, as its content can be edited by anyone, at any time. I did look at some other sites and some other things besides Richard's book, and your facts are correct for the most part. I did look at a site devoted to Hal Laycoe, a site that produced a pdf file about Richard, and Richard's own book. You would also do well to look at Marco Spelten's web site devoted to Richard, here: http://www.spelten.com/mauricerichard/

Spelten collected a wealth of information I think you'll like.

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Guest habs1952

As the title of the thread denotes, this is a discussion of past presidents of the NHL.

Some discussion from other threads, moved here as requested.

Thanks HTL

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I would love to see a guy like Ken Dryden take over. He really knows both sides well, and is incredibly smart. When he has something hockey-related to say, everybody listens. Loved his essays on the concussion issue, but wished he had more to say on the lockout.

If you haven't read his essays on concussions, they can be found here. I recommend them highly, even if they are a little old.

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I would love to see a guy like Ken Dryden take over. He really knows both sides well, and is incredibly smart. When he has something hockey-related to say, everybody listens. Loved his essays on the concussion issue, but wished he had more to say on the lockout.

If you haven't read his essays on concussions, they can be found here. I recommend them highly, even if they are a little old.

He's the one guy who could get the respect of both the owners and the NHLPA. The problem is Bettman, not anybody else. From what I'm reading about the latest on the labor talks, it looks like many of the owners and players want to get a deal done. It just amazes me that the owners are allowing Bettman to continue on his present course. How in the world do you keep a bunch of multi-millionaires and billionaires in line through fines or worse? Can Bettman actually threaten to take away their franchises? And why should the players be on the hook for some owner's poor decisions? These guys could fire Bettman at any time. How in the world do they continue to back this guy when their brand is going down the drain, perhaps never to recover this time?

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He's the one guy who could get the respect of both the owners and the NHLPA. The problem is Bettman, not anybody else. From what I'm reading about the latest on the labor talks, it looks like many of the owners and players want to get a deal done. It just amazes me that the owners are allowing Bettman to continue on his present course. How in the world do you keep a bunch of multi-millionaires and billionaires in line through fines or worse? Can Bettman actually threaten to take away their franchises? And why should the players be on the hook for some owner's poor decisions? These guys could fire Bettman at any time. How in the world do they continue to back this guy when their brand is going down the drain, perhaps never to recover this time?

The brand will survive, although I'm sure Christmas sales are way down, because of us die hard fans but it may take quite a while to draw back the part time fans and to attract new fans.

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The brand will survive, although I'm sure Christmas sales are way down, because of us die hard fans but it may take quite a while to draw back the part time fans and to attract new fans.

The NHL will continue, some teams may have to move to a different city or even north of the border, but it will continue. There's always some billionaire out there with more money than they know what to do with, who have always wanted to be involved with pro sports. What better way than to buy and move a struggling NHL team.

I know Phoenix has had troubles selling, but I think that has more to do with the fact that bettman wants to keep the team in the desert. The yote could've been sold last season had bettman agreed to moving the team. If they're having troubles selling the team, it's due to bettman and his thick skull. He's convince that hockey can exist in the desert, so he won't allow any new owner to move the team.

If tomorrow bettman lifts the move clause, I'm sure Quebecor or some other billion dollar company north of the border would be showing interest. Since he's so determined to keep them in Phoenix, despite the team losing millions every season, the interest just isn't there. If the Flyers or bruins ever become available, I doubt very strongly that the NHL would have to own them for a few seasons waiting for a deal to get done.

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