John A. Ziegler Jr., whose tenure as NHL president was bookended by two tumultuous events – the league’s war with the WHA in the late 1970s and the 1992 NHLPA strike – died at 84 in Florida Oct. 25, 2018. No cause was given by the league in its announcement, although it was believed Ziegler had been in failing health for months.
A native of Grosse Pointe, Mich., Ziegler became the NHL’s first U.S.-born chief executive in 1977, replacing 72-year-old Clarence Campbell, who had been president since 1946. Ziegler was a force in the league’s boardroom before becoming president – first as an alternate governor for the Detroit Red Wings, then chairman of the board of governors – and was admired for his diplomacy.
Throughout the 1970s, the NHL was hemorrhaging money due to the poaching of player...
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