- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Bradshaw says he retained Eagleson to maintain both his goodwill and the NHLPA account. "[Eagleson's] feeling was, and there has got be some truth to it, that because of him our company wrote certain insurances that we probably wouldn't have otherwise had a chance to write, and in return for that he would be happy to render certain legal services to us, and we would be billed.... It is part of doing business...[but] I don't think anyone ever feels totally happy when they are told to use a certain lawyer."
Bradshaw also says that his companies arranged free insurance policies for Eagleson's benefit. Bradshaw describes the free policies as "part of the package...Nickel and dime stuff. But this is a reflection on his [Eagleson's] character. He's got to beat everybody every time."
Asked if he had ever received any money or gifts or anything else from Bradshaw, Eagleson said, "There was a suggestion at one stage that he had given me an insurance policy or something and I said, 'If you did, it was news to me.' And I sent a letter out saying...if I owe somebody any money, then let me know. That's the only instance."
In a letter dated Dec. 3,1979, Eagleson notified Bradshaw & Associates that he was placing the NHLPA disability insurance with the Toronto firm of William J. Sutton and Co. Ltd., which was associated with Crawley Warren and Co. Ltd., a Lloyd's of London broker. Sutton, a former employee of Bradshaw, was awarded the business because his terms of payment on the premiums were better than Bradshaw's, Eagleson wrote at the time.
Bradshaw retained the other NHLPA accounts. But in 1981, Bradshaw says, he told Eagleson that he no longer liked the manner in which their business was being conducted. Five months later, Bradshaw lost his remaining NHLPA accounts. Milbury, a member of the NHLPA's insurance committee at the time, says that Bradshaw lost the insurance because he "wasn't transferring the payments made by the NHLPA and the NHL offices to the re-insurers within a reasonable length of time." Bradshaw admits there were "late payments." But he adds, without elaboration, "We had to suffer the blame for a lot of others."
In the fall of 1982, a rival insurance company, American Sports Underwriters of Woburn, Mass., submitted a bid on the NHLPA disability account. Eagleson encouraged the bid, but in a letter to Ted Dipple, chairman of American Sports Underwriters, he hinted that Dipple's company might have a better chance of winning the account if it bought rink board advertising for an upcoming NHL-U.S.S.R. series. Eagleson informed Dipple that the rink board revenue benefited the NHLPA's pension plan and that the present insurer, Crawley Warren, had purchased $100,000 worth of advertising during the 1981 Canada Cup.
In a letter to Milbury, Eagleson wrote: "...I think we can use [Dipple's] involvement either as an inducement to keep Crawley Warren premiums competitive, or as an inducement to have Crawley Warren participate again in the rink board advertising scheme related to international hockey.... I have advised Crawley Warren of the upcoming series and will be twisting their arm to participate in the rink board or television advertising programme."
Crawley Warren retained the disability policy; Dipple admits his proposal offered less favorable terms. "Maybe it's just as well we didn't get the business and maybe it's just as well that we're not involved with [Eagleson]," Dipple says, "because if he wants to attach strings to our straightforward business dealings that's not the way we operate." Of Eagleson's suggestion that Dipple purchase rink board advertising, Dipple says, "I'd never heard anything similar suggested before, and I've not heard anything like that since."
It is worth noting that advertising for the '82 NHL-U.S.S.R. series was sold by Harcom Consultants, Ltd., whose president, Arthur Harnett, has long been one of Eagleson's closest associates.
Murray Wilson, a 32-year-old former Montreal Canadien and Los Angeles King, says that in 1979 Eagleson refused his request to assist him in settling a $210,000 injury grievance with the Kings and in collecting $83,500 on his NHL and NHLPA disability insurance policies. Wilson, now a leasing consultant for an automobile dealership in Ottawa, says he had to spend more than $70,000 of his own money to settle the grievance and insurance claims. "In his team meetings with players Eagleson would always say, 'Don't ever worry about anything. The Players' Association can take care of it,' " says Wilson. "But Alan didn't help me out one bit. He never gave me a reason other than that I was a client of [New York City agent] Art Kaminsky. He said, 'Let Kaminsky handle it.... I've got no goddam use for that Art Kaminsky.' "