|Born||April 17, 1950|
Arcadia, California, United States
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Occupation||sports teams owner, racehorse owner, film producer|
|Known for||Owned the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL)|
|Board member of||Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Argonauts|
Bruce Patrick McNall (born April 17, 1950) is a former Thoroughbred racehorse owner, sports executive, and convicted felon who once owned the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
McNall claimed to have made his initial fortune as a coin collector, though Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Hoving claimed he smuggled art antiquitiesas the partner of Robert E. Hecht. In the 1980s McNall produced several Hollywood movies, including The Manhattan Project and Weekend at Bernie's .
McNall bought a 25 percent stake in the Kings from Jerry Buss in 1986, and bought an additional 24 percent in 1987 to become the team's largest shareholder. He was named team president that September, and purchased Buss' remaining shares in March 1988.He then shocked the sports world on August 9, 1988 when he acquired the NHL's biggest star, Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, from the Edmonton Oilers for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first-round draft choices and US$15 million. McNall raised Gretzky's annual salary from less than $1 million to $3 million, which, in turn, triggered a dramatic rise in NHL salaries throughout the 1990s.
In 1992, McNall was elected chairman of the NHL Board of Governors—the league's second-highest post.
In 1991, McNall, Gretzky and actor/comedian John Candy purchased the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. Prior to the 1991 season, McNall enticed Raghib "Rocket" Ismail away from the National Football League by signing him to a four-year contract for a then-unheard-of $18.2 million. Although Ismail led the Argonauts to the 1991 Grey Cup championship, he returned to the U.S. after two seasons in Toronto.
At one point, he also owned the finest copy of the most expensive baseball card, Honus Wagner's 1909 T206 card.
McNall also owned Thoroughbred race horses and in 1990 won France's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, with the colt Saumarez. He also owned a 50% interest in Trempolino when the French colt won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1987. He was also a partner with Wayne Gretzky in the colt Golden Pheasant who won races in Europe as well as the Arlington Million in the U.S. and the Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse.
In December 1993, McNall defaulted on a $90 million loan, and Bank of America threatened to force the Kings into bankruptcy unless he sold the team. He sold controlling interest in the Kings in May 1994 and resigned as chairman of the board of governors, though he still remained as president and governor of the Kings for a time.Shortly afterward, he granted an interview to Vanity Fair in which he admitted smuggling many of his prized coins out of foreign countries. His claim of graduating from the University of Oxford was also debunked.
On December 14, 1993, McNall pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy and fraud, and admitted to bilking six banks out of $236 million over a ten-year period.He was sentenced to 70 months in prison. Immediately after his conviction, it emerged that his free-spending ways had put the Kings in serious financial jeopardy. They were ultimately forced into bankruptcy in 1995. The financial problems from the McNall era plagued the Kings for several years afterward.
McNall was released in 2001 after his sentence was reduced by 13 months for good behavior. He was on probation until 2006. McNall remained on good terms with many of his former players, with Wayne Gretzky, Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille and others visiting him in prison. Gretzky even refused to allow the Kings to retire his number 99 until McNall could attend the ceremony. McNall also attended Robitaille's uniform retirement ceremony in 2007.He credited his celebrity friends who supported him. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn visited, "Michael Eisner, who suggested I write the book and bought it, always took my call", while "Dick Zanuck was always there, Tom Hanks would write to me, Bert Fields would send his books, and Barry Kemp wrote long letters. They kept me going."
McNall's autobiography, Fun While It Lasted: My Rise and Fall in the Land of Fame and Fortune, was published by Hyperion Books in 2003.In 2004, McNall became co-chair of A-Mark Entertainment. He took a role with Peter M. Hoffman at Seven Arts Pictures Inc in 2003 and is credited on Nick Cassavetes' 2012 movie, Yellow .
Wayne Douglas Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed "The Great One", he has been called the greatest hockey player ever by many sportswriters, players, the NHL itself, and by The Hockey News, based on extensive surveys of hockey writers, ex-players, general managers and coaches. Playing centre, Gretzky is the leading goal scorer, leading assist producer and leading point scorer in NHL history, and garnered more assists in his career than any other player scored total points. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season, a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, Gretzky tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive, both feats unsurpassed records. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-Star records.
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The Toronto Argonauts are a professional Canadian football team competing in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in Toronto, Ontario, the team was founded in 1873, and is the oldest existing professional sports team in North America still using its original name, and they are the oldest-surviving team in both the modern-day CFL and East Division. The team's origins date back to a modified version of rugby football that emerged in North America in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Argonauts played their home games at Rogers Centre from 1989 until 2016 when the team moved to BMO Field, the fifth stadium site to host the team.
The 1992–93 NHL season was the 76th regular season of the National Hockey League. Each player wore a patch on their jersey throughout the season to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. The league expanded to 24 teams with the addition of the Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Luc Jean-Marie Robitaille is a Canadian–American professional ice hockey executive and former player. He currently serves as president of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The 1991 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 38th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 34th Canadian Football League season.
Bernard Irvine Nicholls is a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre, who played over 1000 games in the National Hockey League (NHL). His junior career was spent with the Kingston Canadians, where he established himself as a dynamic scorer and a multi-faceted talent. He was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, 73rd overall. Over his 17-year playing career, Nicholls played 1127 games for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, scoring 1209 points. He is one of only eight players in NHL history to score 70 goals in one season, and one of five to score 150 points. Nicholls was born in Haliburton, Ontario, but grew up in West Guilford, Ontario.
Matt Dunigan is an American broadcaster and former professional football player and executive. He is a Canadian Football League (CFL) sportscaster for Canadian sports television channel TSN. Dunigan is a former quarterback, coach, and executive in the CFL. In 2006, Dunigan joined the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#39) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
Raghib Ramadian "Rocket" Ismail is an American retired player of American and Canadian football. A wide receiver and kick returner, he came to prominence playing college football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish before moving on to both the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1991–92 and the National Football League (NFL) from 1993–2001.
Tomas Sandström is a Finnish-born Swedish former professional ice hockey right winger who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1984 to 1999. Born in Finland, Sandström grew up in Fagersta, Sweden. A skilled power forward, he was effective when healthy but his career was marred by injuries due to his physical style of play.
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Michael G. Barnett is a Canadian ice hockey executive currently serving as Senior Advisor to the President-General Manager of the New York Rangers. He is best known in the world of hockey as a former agent representing sports icon Wayne Gretzky for two decades. He was listed among the "100 Most Powerful People In Sports" by The Sporting News on six occasions from 1994 to 2000. During his 12 years as President of International Management Group's hockey division, Barnett represented a who's who of the National Hockey League. Barnett negotiated the playing and marketing contracts for Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr, Sergei Fedorov, Paul Coffey, Joe Thornton, Mats Sundin, Lanny McDonald, Grant Fuhr, Marty McSorley, Alexander Mogilny, Owen Nolan, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin and numerous others. Whatever the form of contract, Barnett's creativity was legendary. His ingenuity in finding language that challenged the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, in finding products and companies for his clients that were groundbreaking in their launches, and his perpetual attention to the public relations of his clients, were all hallmarks of his career in athlete representation. Following his two-decades as one of the most highly regarded agents in all of sports, Barnett went on to become the General Manager of the Phoenix Coyotes in the National Hockey League.
The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card depicts the Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his baseball card to continue, either because he did not want children to buy cigarette packs to get his card, or because he wanted more compensation from the ATC. The ATC ended production of the Wagner card and a total of only 50 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public, as compared to the "tens or hundreds of thousands" of T206 cards, over three years in sixteen brands of cigarettes, for any other player. In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US$50 in Jefferson Burdick's The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time.
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Saumarez is a Thoroughbred racehorse who won France's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1990.
The 1991 Toronto Argonauts season was the 102nd season for the team since the franchise's inception in 1873. The team finished in first place in the East Division with a 13–5 record and qualified for the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. The Argonauts defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Eastern Final and qualified for the 79th Grey Cup. Toronto defeated the Calgary Stampeders in a rematch of the 1971 Grey Cup, winning their 12th Grey Cup championship by a score of 36-21.
The history of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League begins in 1966, as the league prepared a major expansion for the upcoming season, and awarded a new team to Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke, who also owned the Los Angeles Lakers. While the Los Angeles Kings awaited construction to be completed on their future home, The Forum in Inglewood, California, they played their first two games during their inaugural 1967–68 season at the Long Beach Arena. The first game in Kings history was played on Oct. 14, 1967 and the Kings defeated the fellow expansion Philadelphia Flyers 4–2 in front of 7,023. They also played 14 games at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena while awaiting the completion of the construction of the Forum. The Kings hosted their first game at the Forum on Dec. 30, 1967, a 2–0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. They went on to play their first 32 seasons at Forum before moving to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles in 1999.
| Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors|