Alan Eagleson resigns from the Hockey Hall of Fame
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.
. At one point Eagleson even became a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame's selection committee, helping to decide who would be inducted.
. The Hall censured Eagleson for "grossly morally repugnant conduct." His resignation was a first among major league sports halls of fame.
. While most fans wanted Eagleson removed, some argued he was part of the game's history. One fan said removing Eagleson from the hall is "like taking Darth Vader out of Star Wars. It doesn't make any sense."
. The move raised questions as to whether other Hall of Fame inductees that had fallen into disrepute should be removed. These included former Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard. In 1972 Ballard was found guilty on 48 charges of theft and fraud, but was still inducted into the Hall of Fame as a builder in 1977.
. Alan Eagleson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada on April 20, 1989. On Feb. 26, 1998, Alan Eagleson's Order of Canada was terminated.
"After a review of the submission received from Mr. R. Alan Eagleson, the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada recommended to Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order, that Mr. Eagleson's membership in the Order be terminated. The Governor General has accepted the recommendation."
. Alan Eagleson's Order of Canada was the first to be stripped from a recipient.
. On July 11, 2005, David Ahenakew became the second person to have his Order of Canada stripped. The former head of the Assembly of First Nations was found guilty of promoting hatred, stemming from a 2003 incident during which Ahenakew told a reporter that Jews were "a disease," and tried to justify the Holocaust.
. Disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson still has his Order of Canada.
. There were other shames waiting for Eagleson. The Law Society of Upper Canada disbarred him on Nov. 13, 1998, for "conduct unbecoming a barrister and solicitor." York University's R. Alan Eagleson Sports Clinic dropped his name.
. Alan Eagleson has stayed out of the limelight since he was released from prison, living in Collingwood, Ont. He still maintains friendships with people such as Bobby Clarke and John Turner. He maintains he is innocent. "Whatever happened, it's over, and whatever obligation or debt I had to society, whatever it was, if any, I have paid in full," Eagleson told The Hockey News in 2002. "If I had millions of dollars, I'd still be fighting it."
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 25, 1998
Guest(s): Carl Brewer, Scotty Morrison, Brad Park
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Adrienne Arsenault
Last updated: September 28, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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The Eagle resigns from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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