For a few hours on Monday, Guy Serota was trending on Twitter.
The mediator quickly became the butt of jokes, after hockey fans exposed a series of previous tweets of his that could only be described as embarrassing for someone who was supposed to take over such a high-profile case.
But take comfort, Guy Serota.
You’re not the only marginal character who has briefly appeared in the NHL and provided us with some laughs. Today, we take a look at the top 10 marginal characters who made cameo appearances in the NHL sphere — only to vanish quicker than Chris Kontos.
10 – Judge Redfield T. Baum - He oversaw the bankruptcy proceedings of the Phoenix Coyotes back in 2009, when Jim Balsille was poised to jump in and buy them. Thankfully, Baum’s clear and decisive rulings put an end to the Coyotes saga. I mean, they’ll never have another important court date, right?
9 – John Spano - Successfully purchased the New York Islanders in the 1990s, but turned out he was a complete fraud who didn’t own anything. At one point, when he owed $17 million, he sent a cheque for $1,700. Gary Bettman should have realized there was a red flag when Spano said with a straight face, “I would like to buy the New York Islanders”.
8 – Katie Wolfmeyer - She was wrapped up in the Mike Danton saga and even faced two felony counts in the murder-for-hire plot. After acquittal she told reporters that she learned two valuable lessons. “Don’t talk to hockey players – or the FBI,” she was quoted as saying. I think she should have said, “Don’t talk to hockey players who have bizarre relationships with both their parents and agents and who then become wrapped up in a bizarre plot that ends with a full FBI investigation.” Because honestly, she shouldn’t paint all hockey players with the same brush.
7 – William (Boots) Del Biaggio - Was poised to buy the Nashville Predators, but was secretly planning to move them to another city once he gained control — classic play right out of the Lyle Lanley playbook of swindling. Again, he was later exposed as a fraud who bilked investors out of millions of dollars. Personally, I think anyone who gives money to a guy named “Boots” gets what they deserve.
6 – Frank D’Angelo - Toronto businessman publicly announced his intention to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006. I wish that sale had gone through, just to see him force Sidney Crosby into those awkward commercials where he says, “I Cheetah all the time.”
5 – Lynn Nunney – Do you remember the time Eric Lindros was led away in handcuffs? In 1992, the young Flyers star was accused of spitting beer on a 24-year-old woman named Lynn Nunney at a bar called “Koo Koo Bananas”. The charges were later dropped, but I’m convinced that Bobby Clarke formed his opinion of Lindros being soft based on the fact he was hanging out a bar called “Koo Koo Bananas”.
4 – Michael Largue - In the late 1990s, he tried to convince the NHL and the city of Edmonton that he was representing a Swiss billionaire Lester Mittendorf, who was interested in buying the Oilers. Only one problem: Lester Mittendorf never existed. Other than that, I would say Largue had a fool-proof plan.
3 – Randy Gumbley - Or should I say Derek Clarke? I don’t even know anymore.
2 – Len Barrie - He ended up being a phony as both owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and as a real estate developer in British Columbia. The NHL should think about handing out a “Con” Smythe award each season for the businessman who is the most successful at tricking the board of governors. And another thing, if you are a swindler trying to make a fast buck — is owning an NHL team really the best way to go about doing it? Personally, I would just open up a Five Guys Burgers.
1 – Gil Stein – If there was a Hall of Fame for marginal NHL characters, he’d be the first one inducted.