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Alan Eagleson pleads guilty

He never played the game, but he was the most powerful man in hockey. Alan Eagleson played many roles off the ice: agent to the stars, union boss and international hockey impresario. But he was also accused of less savoury activities: cozying up to management, bullying players and misusing their money. Then came the investigations, criminal convictions and a dizzying fall from grace.

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The Eagle has crash landed. Today, a humbled Alan Eagleson pleaded guilty, admitting in a Boston courtroom that he had defrauded the players he used to represent. It's part of an international plea bargain agreement that will see Eagleson convicted in both Canada and the United States. As we see in this clip, many retired heroes of hockey are in attendance to watch the mighty fall. 
. In Boston, Alan Eagleson pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud in exchange for having the racketeering charges dropped. He said nothing except the word "guilty" three times. Eagleson was sentenced to one year's probation and a fine of $1 million.
. Eagleson was then turned over to Canadian authorities, and pleaded guilty in Canada the following day. He stood up and apologized to the players he had hurt.

. "I sincerely apologize for any harm that might have been caused and I hope I will have the opportunity in the future to make a positive contribution," Eagleson said to a crowded courtroom crowd that included former players Frank Mahovlich and Carl Brewer.
. Eagleson wore his Order of Canada pin on his suit lapel during his court appearances. He had been made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1989.

. In a bid for leniency, the court was presented with written testimonials from 30 Eagleson supporters, including hockey legends Daryl Sittler, Paul Henderson and Bobby Clarke, as well as former prime minister John Turner and former chief justice Willard Estey. They vouched for his "good character," reminded the court that he had "served in public office" as a politician.

. Alan Eagleson was sentenced to serve 18 months in a Canadian prison, as per the Canada-U.S. plea bargain agreement. "By harming others you have brought disgrace upon yourself," said Justice Patrick LeSage, who issued the sentence.
. Because of his good behaviour behind bars, Alan Eagleson served the minimum six months of his 18-month sentence. He was freed from the Mimico Correctional Centre on July 7, 1998.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Jan. 6, 1998
Guest(s): Carl Brewer, Frank Mahovlich, Brad Park, Donald Stern
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Adrienne Arsenault
Duration: 2:34

Last updated: March 15, 2012

Page consulted on November 6, 2014

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