Shortly after taking control of the Leafs, Ballard stood trial on 28 counts of fraud involving $82,000, 21 counts of theft involving $123,000, and tax evasion. He was accused by the Crown attorney of using funds from Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. to pay for renovations to his home and cottage, to rent limousines for his daughter's wedding in 1967, and to buy motorcycles for his sons (passing off the expense as hockey equipment for the Marlboros), as well as placing money belonging to the corporation into a private bank account that he controlled along with Stafford Smythe. Ballard pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Just as Ballard's trial was beginning, he told Hockey Canada that they were welcome to use any member of the Leafs on the Canadian team, could use Maple Leaf Gardens for their training camp, and could use the building for any or all of the games in the series....At the conclusion of the series, Ballard sent a bill to Hockey Canada for use of the building.
For example, he cut the salary of chief scout and former Leafs star Bob Davidson by almost two-thirds, forcing Davidson to resign. Davidson had served in the Leafs organization for almost 40 years in various capacities.
In fact, his opposition to European players was so virulent that a Leafs scout used Ballard's time in jail to sign Borje Salming, one of the NHL's first great European players.
Sittler was apparently untouchable as he had a no-trade clause in his contract and, through his agent, had insisted on $500,000 to waive it. When the Leafs traded Lanny McDonald, a close friend of Sittler, to the moribund Colorado Rockies on December 29, 1979; a member of the Leafs anonymously told the Toronto Star that Leafs management would "do anything to get at Sittler" and was bent on undermining the captain's influence on the team. Angry teammates trashed their dressing room in response, and Sittler temporarily resigned his captaincy. Eagleson called the trade "a classless act."
Imlach was never officially fired, but when he tried to return to his office in November, he found that his parking spot at Maple Leaf Gardens had been reassigned and Gerry McNamara had been made acting general manager.
Many players refused even to consider playing for the Leafs because of Ballard's reputation.
The storied arena fell into disrepair during Ballard's tenure. For example, when the roof leaked, he did little more than order plastic sheets to catch the rainwater.
Demanding $15,000 a game from the WHA's Toronto Toros to play in the Gardens, and then informing them (after they signed the contract) it would cost an extra $3,500 per game to use the TV lights. He also removed the bench cushions for Toros games and forced the team to build its own dressing room, at a cost of $55,000. These outrageous terms forced the Toros to move to Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1991, Stavro paid off a $20 million loan that had been made to Ballard in 1980 by Molson.
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Man- Ballard sounds pretty flippin bad. He is up there in the running for worst. But as far as WORST owners go, the Islanders have everyone beat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Spano
But since Spano wound up in JAIL for fraud, etc, maybe people dont want to count him. His criminal actions definititely qualify him for the "worst" category, but even if you exclude him from winning this title the Islanders STILL have you beat for the whole "worst owner" title.
Originally Posted by Skittles
Wang just meddles with the GM.
Wang would win for craziest owner, NOT for worst owner. No WAY. Charles Wang is a crazy little GODSEND compared to the owners right before him (and Right after the Spano fiasco): Milstein and Gluckstern.
Do any of you people remember them? The only reason those jerks bought the Islanders was to get their hands on NVMC land. And they STILL didnt get to do anything with it, because Nassau County wouldnt let them. So, they got CHEAP. Those losers traded away EVERYONE worth a cracker from the NY Islanders- Zigmund Palffy, Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, Trevor Linden, Berard, Richie Pilon, the players go on and on. Everyone, gone. Our boys were so poor they didnt have chartered flights for road games. The boys even had to pay whenever they even broke sticks during practice. The Crapiseum fell apart during those years, the boys were worried whether they could even be safe to play for a while because the scoreboard was going to fall down on their heads and kill them all, there were leaks in the ceiling, broken chairs, portapotties, it got... bad. And Charles Wang has been losing millions of dollars every year since just trying to clean up all their messes and give the Island a decent team and some pride.
Last edited by TheMetalChick*: 10-12-2007 at 03:29 PM.
I feel REALLY bad for Islanders fans. Seriously, it's a shame what they've had to go through.
But I'm gonna have to say... Spano may have committed fraud... but Ballard committed fraud AND was a child molester and to me, he's tops here.
I have a picture hung up in my house of the '67 Maple Leafs. If you look at it you see Mahovolich, Keon, Pulford, Armstrong, Horton, Bower and even Sawchuk is smiling ear to ear. What a team, there could have been better times ahead. Then you look down in the bottom row and see Imlach the miracle man.
But in the middle you see Ballard and Stafford Smythe. Smythe you let him off the hook a bit because he died before he could do enough damage but ou see Ballard's big grin on his face and you cringe at the man that has been the biggest reason why your team hasnt won a Cup in 40 years. Oh that and the fact that Sittler and McDonald were driven out of town and the best player we had in the '80s was Rick Vaive (I like Rick but he shouldnt be the best of a decade).
Ballard seems to have been pure evil through the entire soul. Enough said. He wasn't just a cheap ******* that sold out the team and only cared about how much money he could suck out, he was a suspected child molester, criminal in general and treated people like crap. If he could make someone feel bad, he made that decision, even if it took more job for himself. Like when he dumped that gondolea in the incinerator, Hockey Hall of Fame had contacted him and wanted to take it to their museum.