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Game Misconduct: Alan Eagleson and the Corruption of Hockey [Hardcover]

Russ Conway
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 26 1995
Russ Conway has worked at the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Massachusetts, since 1967. For more than five years, he pursued the details of this fascinating story, an investigation that focused increasingly on the activities of Canada’s Alan Eagleson, once regarded as the most powerful figure in professional hockey. Conway’s series for the Eagle Tribune, “Cracking Ice,” from which this book was developed has been at the heart of the FBI and US Justice Department investigations that led to the 1994 indictment of Alan Eagleson.

Among other things, Conway’s sensational exposé documents the following:

Eagleson’s defrauding of injured players seeking career-ending disability insurance.

Eagleson’s use of National Hockey League Players’ Association money for questionable and unauthorized loans to friends and associates, one of whom was also his partner in business ventures.

Eagleson’s exploitation of his position as head of the NHLPA and driving force behind the Canada Cup to obtain everything from free clothing to free air travel to France.

Eagleson’s outright theft of Canada Cup money via a scheme that saw Irving Ungerman’s company, All Canada Sports, retain control of end-board advertising during Team Canada games.

Conway’s discovery, while investigating the conduct of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into Eagleson that Timothy Lemay, a lawyer on loan from the federal Department of Justice, was working out of the same office in Newmarket, Ontario, as the RCMP, which was collaborating with US authorities. Lemay worked for Eagleson’s law firm; Eagleson had Lemay do work for Hockey Canada; Lemay is Eagleson’s son’s brother-in-law.

Game Misconduct is much more than a sports story: it embraces business, politics, and true crime; indeed, some have called it the biggest scandal in professional sports since the 1919 Chicago White Sox threw the World Series. It is unquestionably among the most impressive and explosive examples of determined, investigative journalism in recent years.

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“A masterpiece of investigative journalism.”
–Lester Munson, Sports Illustrated

About the Author

Russ Conway has worked at the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Massachusetts, since 1967. “Cracking the Ice,” the investigative series from which this book was developed, won many regional and national newspaper awards and was runner-up for a Pulitzer Prize.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
In "Game Misconduct" reporter/author Russ Conway has exposed the scourge of the National Hockey League personified by Alan Eagelson. Initiated by his relationship with the Boston Bruins of the early '70s, including Bobby Orr, Conway became aware of inequities in pension payments to such NHL greats as Brad Park, Gordie Howe and Orr. But perhaps more frightening and vile were the actions taken by Eagelson in disability claims by former players. Innumerable examples of players filing for permanent disability due to injury are chronicled in this book. The tragedy is the way Eagelson manipulated the NHL Players Association, the NHL and the players to gain profit off the backs of the injured. Eagelson "charged" the diability insurance for representing the players. A significant percentage of insurance claims lined Eagelson's pockets before the injured/retired player saw a dime. In addition, such players as Brad Park, whose child suffers from a chronic illness, were stonewalled on insurance and pension claims to support their family.
Conway methodically documents the path Eagelson traveled in his rise from virtual unknown to head of the NHLPA and major sports agent. How one man can succeed in an environment of obvious conflicts of interest is testimony to the ruthlessness of major sports team ownership and the naivete of the young professional athlete. Conway brings the reader to 1996 and the Eagelson indictments in US Feredal Courts in Boston but unfortunately is unable to report on the successful extradition of Eagelson to the US from Canadan proving money has its benefits.
This is a well researched book on the corruption of major sports in Norht America. Conway deserves praise for exposing the cold and calculating Eagelson who profited from the agony and injury of players he represented as agent and NHLPA head. Anyone interested in major sports off the field will be amazed by this book
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By A Customer
Russ Conway comes to the rescue of the National Hockey League Players Association. After observing the less than comfortable lifestyles of retired players, Conway studies the management of the NHL's player pension fund. He finds the pension funds were not as lucrative as he and many retirees expected them to be. Further investigation shows that Alan Eagelson invested players' pensions into other business ventures, as well as pocketing his self-made commissions for filing insurance claims on behalf of the players. With quotes from many retired players as well as documentation to support Conway's claims, it's a true paper chase as you hope the good guys eventually get the bad guy or, in this case, Alan Eagelson
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book July 3 1998
By A Customer
All hockey fans owe Russ Conway a debt of gratitude for helping rid hockey of the parasite Alan Eagleson. He documents Eagleson's criminal and disgusting behaviour in great detail, helping fans to better understand what hockey players faced in the past, the necessary background information for many of the issues facing pro hockey today. I haven't read such a gripping book since "Net Worth". Eagleson will be back in the courts again before long, no doubt willing to lie about the charges being brought forward by a number of retired hockey players. Read this book and you'll see that the players have justice on their team.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gut Wrenching Account of June 20 1999
By A Customer
This is one of the most important sports books ever written. Through his exhaustive work, Russ Conway exposes the greed, corruption and financial swindling that plagued the NHL throughout Alan Eagelson's reign of terror and the financial and emotional price that so many players faced. Most importantly, Conway's work served as the catalyst for Mr. Eagleson's downfall and proving many player's assertions of corruption. Put simply, this is an important piece of journalism that every fan of sports should read, whether you are a hockey fan or not.
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