CALGARY – Longtime Calgary Flames president Ken King has passed away at the age of 68.
The Flames confirmed his passing to open their COVID-19 press conference Thursday afternoon.
King died Wednesday following a lengthy battle with cancer that he insisted would not define him the last handful of years.
Coworkers were aware the longtime overseer of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. has been fighting hard for his life by way of a series of experimental drugs.
He recently visited the team’s offices in his wheelchair, holding his head high and remaining optimistic.
King was instrumental in guiding the Flames through turbulent financial waters for years and was the man who spearheaded the 14-year fight to land the city a new entertainment centre that will start construction in two years.
“He has an unbelievable drive on every aspect he undertook,” said CSEC president John Bean.
“He was a large man of stature – almost larger than life and commanded the room whenever he walked in. With that energy, he tackled so many things.”
Prior to joining CSEC in 2001, King spent 30 years in the newspaper industry, overseeing the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald as their president and publisher.
King and his wife Marilyn have two daughters, Amanda and Jocelin, and four grandchildren.
“A man of great presence,” said GM Brad Treliving.
“He was a foxhole guy. When bleep was rolling downhill he was a guy you wanted to be in a foxhole with.”