Counsel in the Crease: A Big League Player in the Hockey Wars
In his diverse, exciting, and very active forty-five-year legal career, spent mainly in the world of professional sports, attorney Robert O. Swados ... Show synopsis In his diverse, exciting, and very active forty-five-year legal career, spent mainly in the world of professional sports, attorney Robert O. Swados has worn many hats--owner, league executive, counsel, and franchise builder. In this wide-ranging and good-humored memoir, Swados offers many behind-the-scenes insights into the players, coaches, executives, and owners who have created today's sports entertainment industry. Swados describes his early involvement in professional sports through his efforts in the 1960s to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to his hometown of Buffalo, NY. The deal was so close that a New York Daily News headline erroneously announced that new franchises would go to San Diego and Buffalo. But things really got interesting when in 1969 Swados helped Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox to establish the Buffalo Sabres. Thus began an exciting thirty-year journey through the ups and downs of the National Hockey League. As part owner, vice chairman, and counsel of the Sabres, Swados has had many opportunities to "score from the crease," and sometimes the action behind the scenes is just as rough and tumble as that on the ice. He tells many fascinating tales about his dealings with winning coaches including Scotty Bowman, with General Managers Punch Imlach and John Muckler, with owner John McMullen, and with commissioners John Ziegler and Gary Bettman, among others. He also talks frankly about the impact of Adelphia's bankruptcy on the fate of the Sabres and about the obsessions and frustrations of the 2004 NHL lockout. Perhaps no one in professional sports has had such an engaging and productive view. For hockey fans in the U.S. and Canada, especially Buffalo Sabres fans, and anyone interested in the business of bigtime sports, Robert Swados's entertaining and informative story is a must-read.