Sports Illustrated recently released its list of the top owners overall and in each of the four professional leagues. Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch was named the No. 1 owner in the NHL.
With that in mind, SI.com decided to identify the five best and five worst owners in each of the four major team sports. While the method was not scientific, the results were based on numerous factors, some of which are indisputable and some of which are intangible. The criteria used to evaluate owners included:
- Team's success or failure on the field.
- Willingness to spend money to improve the team.
- Stability and capabilities of the front office and management.
- Amenities at the team's venue.
- Club's culture and interactivity with fans.
Detroit Red Wings
|Purchase Price||Current Value||W-L||Winning %||Playoffs||Championships|
|Any potential buyer of one of the NHL's Original Six knows he has a huge obligation, and Ilitch understood that immediately when he purchased his hometown team for $8 million in 1982. The Wings were riding nine straight sub-.500 seasons at the time. The Little Caesars Pizza magnate immediately began pumping money into the organization and, under his ownership, the team drafted impact players such as Steve Yzerman, Bob Probert, Adam Oates and Steve Chiasson. It took a little time, but the Wings became a perennial playoff team and, finally, brought Lord Stanley back to Hockeytown in 1997 -- the first of four championships of the Ilitch Era.|
Five Best Owners
1 Mike Ilitch
2 Jeffrey Vanderbeek
3 Mario Lemieux/Ron Burkle Pittsburgh Penguins
4 San Jose Sports and Entertainment San Jose Sharks
5 Peter Karmanos
Five Worst Owners
2 Alan Cohen
3 Charles Wang
4 Atlanta Spirit
5 Predator Holdings LLC Nashville Predators