Alan Eagleson

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Marcus-74, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Alan Eagleson must be one of the most hated characters in hockey history. But he couldn´t have been all that bad or could he?! Let me try to be positive for a while.

    Sure, if I had been a hockey player from ´60s to ´80s, I wouldn´t have wanted him near my money. But nevertheless, he did some great things for international hockey. If I have understood correctly, he is the single most important person behind the Summit Series and Canada Cup(s), and without those and other significant exhibition games/tournaments hockey history would be so much duller IMO! I don´t really even care what his motives were when he helped to organize the events.

    And as a person... probably not the most sophisticated guy in the world (and he could have left some of his antics undone during the Summit), but in the few interviews I´ve seen him in he has appeared to be reasonably educated and not as tunnelvisioned and "black & white" as somebody like, say, Phil Esposito.

    So should Eagleson get some credit too or does the bad outweigh the good? What are your thoughts on him?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  2. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,428
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    Mass/formerly Ont
    The bad far outweighs the good. Al Eagleson was for Al Eagleson. Everything he did was for his own fame & fortune. International hockey tournaments with North American pros were inevitable and would have happened with or without smiling Al. He was important only because he controlled the source of players (while he was ripping them off). At the start, he didn't even care about fielding the best team and packed the teams with his buddies & clients. Bobby Hull could have been firing goals in 72 if he had been an Eagleson client and if Eagleson hadn't been sleeping with the NHL owners. Interesting that Canada Cup expenses ran at 70% of revenues. World cup expenses were at around 40%. Guess whose pocket that extra 30% went into. Read Ross Conway's book "Game Misconduct, Alan eagleson & the corruption of hockey" to see what a ******* he was. IMO, Nothing good came out of the Eagleson regime.
     
  3. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    23,349
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Forensic Accountant
    Location:
    Cesspool, Ontario
    Home Page:
    For the players the best thing Eagleson ever did was establish arbitration. Other than that, he was a leech.
     
  4. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    42,055
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Drone
    Location:
    South Rectangle
    Hell he probably did that just so he could have a way to control salaries colluding with the owners.
     
  5. connor35

    connor35 Registered User

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Bobby Orr asked the Hall of Fame to either remove Eagleson or remove him. (And I think other players did the same)

    That might say it all.
     
  6. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    11,793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Newspaper reporter
    Location:
    Bentley reunion
    I think there were about 40 players who gave the HHOF the "it's him or us" ultimatum, including Orr and many other greats. If they would have left, the HHOF would have had nothing from players who played after 1940. (Gerry Cheevers has had some very harsh words about the Eagle, too).

    The only player who stuck up for the Eagle was Bobby Clarke, who has remained a strong Eagleson loyalist. I'm a big Clarke fan, his leadership and big-game presence are among the best ever, but this is one of those times where I really question what's going on inside his head.
     
  7. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    7,954
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Occupation:
    Hamster Trainer
    Location:
    Delicieux!
    The guy was a lawyer, for heavens sake. His good ol boy potty mouth thing doesn't change the fact that he's a very smart guy. By training, education and common sense he would have had a very keen understanding that he was not acting in the best interest of his supposed masters. This makes his misdoings more shameful still.
     
  8. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    71,668
    Likes Received:
    26,695
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Location:
    South Cackalacky
    When Eagleson was the player's rep, he was always able to cut a deal that was good for both sides: it was good for the owners, and good for Eagleson.
     
  9. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Exactly, he knew at all times that he was screwing people. Sometimes you can give people some slack because they may not have intended to do harm. Not here.

    From talking to the old-timers, Eagleson is despised more than most people know. Many people who dealt with Eagleson have relayed their stories to me. Once, when at a function, Eagleson was acknowledged as being in the room, a number of older ex-players stood up off their chairs and all walked out of the room in front of many people. It was quite a show.

    I also know people who are still friends with Eagleson and still swear by him. I don't argue with them because they are reasonable people who have known Eagleson for a long time and were 'good' business buddies with him.


     
  10. dafoomie

    dafoomie Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,388
    Likes Received:
    109
    Trophy Points:
    141
    Location:
    Boston
    He embezzled money from the Summit Series and Canada Cup that was intended for player pensions. He hid the Bruins offer of 18.5% ownership of the team from Bobby Orr so that he could get a bigger cut of a cash offer, and get him on his good friend Bill Wirtz's team, Chicago. That 18.5% is worth almost 50 million today. Chicago's contract was for 3 million over 5 years (600k/yr), and Orr returned all the money that Chicago gave him out of guilt for only playing 26 games. He later bankrupted Bobby Orr with shady investments.

    He stole disability money from players. He took kickbacks from insurance companies to keep disability claims low. He invested union funds in risky business ventures run by his friends. He billed hundreds of thousands of dollars in 'expenses' to the NHLPA, including houses for himself. He did a lot of favors for Bill Wirtz, including keeping player salaries down, and having Bobby Orr sign with his team.

    You're right, Eagleson isn't as bad as people think he is. He's far, far worse.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  11. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Okay, this was an awful thread! Guilty!

    But still... ahhhh, forget it :D
     
  12. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    27,206
    Likes Received:
    374
    Trophy Points:
    164
    I'm not a fan of Eagleson by any means. I mean the guy was a thief and he disgraced the game like no one before him. That said as much as anyone hates to admit it, he was the reason the NHLPA started. You might say oh well someone else would have come along and done it. Well who? Ted Lindsay and others tried it in the mid 50s. To no avail. The truth is someone would have started it to be honest but it wouldnt have been in 1967. So no matter what any million dollar player right now has to give some props to the Eagle.

    But I'll agree in the end the bad outweighs it. Eagleson was out for himself no doubt. he did a lot of good for the game but he also hurt players who confided and trusted him as well.
     
  13. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,428
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    Mass/formerly Ont
    I do not know how you can say "he did a lot of good for the game". Maybe he started the NHLPA. Big deal, he was in cahoots with Wirtz & his other owner buddies to keep salaries down (except for smiling Al's favored clients wjo he was also ripping off). It was the WHA & guys like Bobby Hull who brought NHL salaries up. That is who todays million dolar players should be thanking. Along with guys like Ted Lindsay in the 50's who were ahead of the curve in trying to organize players. No major sport had a strong players organization in the 50's.

    Let's cut the crap. Smiling Al's legacy is pure evil.
     
  14. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    19,101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    A friend of mine told me that Bob Gainey spoke on Eagleson's behalf in court, can you confirm this ? It doesn't seem to be consistent with Gainey's reputation, though I have an idea why, if inded it was true.
     
  15. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, from my information, its true. But still, its hard to believe with Gainey who is known as a reasonable & intelligent type of person. The reason he might still support Eagleson is because of past favours (that might have made Gainey at lot of money in the past).
    We all know that Bobby Clarke supports Eagleson and flaunts it. So does Bob Pulford. Darryl Sittler also wrote a letter to support Eagleson and so did a few others who I know and don't want to mention their lapse in common sense.

    One of those people told me an story that may or not be known to people on this site.
    It seems that if Eagleson had 3 or 4 clients on each team, then he would have his favourite of those clients and would go to management and offer a deal whereby his top client would get a fantastic contract and in return, Eagleson would agree to sell his other clients down the river with poor contracts. True story. And the player who was affected adversely told me he didn't find out until recently, well after he retired, and it hurt him because he was betrayed by someone he had supported.

    The player who benefited in this case was someone I mentioned above.

    As for Gainey, I'd like to know your thoughts on why Gainey still supports Eagleson.

     
  16. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Do you really think international hockey would not have taken off without Eagleson? The guy is a criminal.
     
  17. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Eagleson did not instigate or have any part in the initial discussions for the 1972 Summit Series. He gets too much credit for that.

    Regarding the formation of a Player's Association', the first attempt was actually attempted in the 1940's by a few Ranger players. Then in 1956, Ted Lindsay tried to start one up but was betrayed by a couple of high profile former teammates.

    By the 60's the time was ripe for an association and the owners probably realized that as the gave minimal resistance.

    Eagleson's claim to fame was representing the striking Springfield Indians in the AHL against owner Eddie Shore. That's where it all started.

    By the way, while the players themselves got conned by Eagleson initially, there are cases of player's wives who immediately saw what Eagleson was really about and they voiced their opinions back then.

    He didn't fool everyone.

     
  18. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    23,032
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    116
    They should have let the Russians take him away in 1972.
     
  19. Badger Bob

    Badger Bob Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    129
    Occupation:
    industrial engineer
    Location:
    in my happy place
    Home Page:
    Outstanding book, and it didn't receive adequate attention in Canada. Bruce Dowbiggen also tackled some of the same subject matter, but the Eagle still has many friends in high place (Canadian gov't., fellow attorneys, etc.) and a few of his former clients still work around hockey, as was already detailed by ClassicHockey.
     
  20. Changeiscoming

    Changeiscoming Rebooting myself Sponsor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    80,697
    Likes Received:
    1,410
    Trophy Points:
    170
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    currently creating a new identity
    Location:
    Have Backpack Will Travel
    Former NHLer Ed Kea died do to Alan Eagelson greed

    sorry if this has been covered

    Alan Eagelson took a legal payout for his services instead of fighting for his clients legal right

    Kea's family could not afford the medical attention he needed. Kea won the lawsuit that was filed--but, Eagelson got more money then Kea and many people believe he took lesser money for hs client to get more money for himself.

    Also

    Alan Eagelson put his family on the payroll of the NHLPA

    Whenever they flew--they were bought 1st class tickets, however, they exchange the tickets for coach class and pocketed the difference.
     
  21. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I want to mention what a class guy that Russ Conway is. I was introduced to him very briefly at the HHOF Inductions one year. A week later, he sent me a note to say hello and that it was nice meeting me. Hardly anyone would take the time to do that.

    Conway had a lot of evidence in the book and a lot of it came from Bobby Orr.

     
  22. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, who knows? If a guy like,say, Harold Ballard had been in control, no, I don´t think so. It´s not like there was this huge demand for Canadian pros to play against the Soviets/other Europeans before the Summit Series. The way Team Canada (or at least, most of them) prepared for that series shows how much they knew about Europeans and their skills. And I don´t believe that North American hockey fans were any better informed.

    Then again, if Eagleson wasn´t a key part in the Summit Series happening, I guess he doesn´t deserve much credit after all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  23. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    19,101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    Steve Shutt was on Mtl. radio one night with his wife. It was after a station Christmas party and they were all speaking pretty freely. Shutt spoke of how the Eagle would play one client's deal against the other, just like you say. Shutt's wife, got involved and negotiated directly with Pollock and did quite well that way, though I'd imagine Pollock wasn't too pleased.

    Gainey has a reputation for integrity, maybe you're right, and it was simply a case of him being well handled early in his career, I have no idea. I was wondering if Gainey kept a degree of loyalty due to some assisance he rec'd. during his wife's illness. That's pure speculation on my part, but I can't figure why he'd stand up for him when everything he'd done was out on the table. Maybe, and I believe that to be the case with Clarke, it's just a matter of sticking with people in the bad times, right or wrong.
     
  24. GoneFullHextall

    GoneFullHextall Cautiously pessimistic pretty much all the time

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    47,224
    Likes Received:
    2,656
    Trophy Points:
    232
    just what he did to Bobby Orr alone should be enough.

    The Bruins offered him a 5 percent stake in the Bruins, and Eagleson told the Bruins no w/o Orr's knowledge until later in his career.
    Eagleson is a friggin criminal.
     
  25. futurcorerock

    futurcorerock Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,831
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    What people don't realize about his 'goods' was that his actions allow this debate to even be plausible today:

    The only reason he did the international tournaments was so that HE could soak up the glory, not the players or the NHL or the sport
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"