Paying Homage to Members of the Hockey Community Who Were Lost in 2013
Allan Stanley: A stalwart defenseman on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s, Stanley helped the Leafs win four Stanley Cups. He was a 2nd Team All Star three times, was a Hockey Hall of Famer, and played 1,244 career games. When Stanley retired in 1969, he had played the second most games in NHL history, four behind defenseman Bill Gadsby. After retiring, Stanley ran a hockey school in Ontario.
Pentti Lund: Playing 259 games for the Rangers and Bruins in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Lund was the first Finnish born player to take a regular shift in the NHL (Albert Pudas played four games in 1926-27). Although he moved to Canada at age 6, he still holds the distinction of the first Finnish citizen to play in the NHL. He won the Calder Trophy as the best rookie in 1948-49, and led the NHL playoffs in goals and points in 1949-50. After a career-ending eye injury, he became a newspaper reporter, and eventually the sports editor for The Daily Times Journal of Fort William, Ontario.
Don Baizley: Although he is not known by most hockey fans, the impact that Don Baizley has had on the NHL is immeasurable. A lawyer, Baizley became one of the most influential player agents in the business, reprsenting clients like Peter Forsberg, Paul Kariya, Joe Sakic, and Teemu Selanne. The public’s general perception of player agents is that they are greedy and cutthroat. They think of Scott Boras, and Drew Rosenhaus. Don Baizley could not be more different than the public’s perception of an agent. Paul Kariya said he saw Don as a friend and family member, a down-to-earth man who believed in confidentiality, and genuinely wanted the best for all of his clients. He was a major facilitator in bringing in the first elite European players to North America like Jari Kurri, Anders Hedberg, and Ulf Nilsson. He lobbied for the NHL to implement stricter concussion protocols, and spend more money on concussion research years before it was a hot button topic. He was held in the highest regard among all members of NHL front offices, and the hockey community.
This is the press release that the Winnipeg Jets put out at the passing of Don Baizley, who I knew.
STATEMENT REGARDING PASSING OF DON BAIZLEY
It is with the saddest of hearts that True North Sports & Entertainment Lim=
ited and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club pass on our deepest condolences to t=
he family of Don Baizley following his passing this morning.
As a Winnipeg-based agent in the game of hockey, Baizley was not only a clo=
se colleague to many at True North Sports & Entertainment Limited, but also=
a dear friend to the likes of Chairman Mark Chipman, General Manager Kevin=
Cheveldayoff, and Assistant General Manager Craig Heisinger as well as man=
Baizley was a pioneer in our game and had a profound influence on not only =
the business of hockey, but also the way the game was played in North Ameri=
ca with the introduction of Ulf Nilsson, Anders Hedberg, & Lars-Erik Sjober=
g to the World Hockey Association and the Winnipeg Jets in the 1970's. He a=
lso had an impact on the Jets during the NHL years with representation of b=
oth Teemu Selanne and current Jets defenceman Toby Enstrom.
"The sport of hockey and particularly the game in Winnipeg lost a legend to=
day," said Mark Chipman, Executive Chairman & Governor of True North Sports=
& Entertainment Limited. "He was an incredible friend and a great resource=
of information and guidance as the Manitoba Moose passed through the years=
and into the NHL with the return of the Winnipeg Jets. He will be missed."
"Don Baizley was one of the truly unique individuals in our game," said Kev=
in Cheveldayoff, Executive Vice-President & General Manager of the Winnipeg=
Jets. "He was loyal, humble and so well-respected. He was honest yet fair =
and a true gentlemen in what can sometimes be difficult circumstances. Whil=
e everyone associated with the National hockey League will feel sadness tod=
ay, we at the Winnipeg Jets are experiencing a huge loss because of the per=
sonal relationships he had with so many in our organization and our city."