he grew a beard
The Columbus Dispatch reports on Blue Jackets' defenseman Jack Johnson filing for bankruptcy and his path down financial ruin, which leads back to his time in Ann Arbor.
And it was at Michigan, sources say, that Johnson’s path to financial ruin began.
Maurice Taylor, a star basketball player at Michigan from 1994 to ’97 who was later disassociated by the school after a string of NCAA violations, steered Johnson and his family toward Simon Vo, who was to serve as Johnson’s business manager after Johnson fired Brisson, the agent.
Johnson had been paid relatively modest salaries early in his career, earning a high of $1.6 million in his fourth season in the league.
In the months leading up to his $30.5 million deal with the Kings, however, Vo and Steve Miller, who owned a mortgage company in Los Angeles, began discussing with Johnson’s parents the idea of “monetizing” Johnson’s contract, sources said.
“Monetizing” — that is, borrowing against guaranteed future salaries — has led to the financial woes of many professional athletes.
JMFJ signed a power of attorney that granted his mother full control of his finances and his parents started taking out loans in his name without his knowledge. He's now $10-15 million in debt, been sued three times, and has reportedly cut off all contact with his family.
“I’ve seen lots of instances of parents riding their kid’s coattails around,” said an NHL executive familiar with the case. “I’ve never seen a case as ugly as this one, where the parents took such advantage of their kid.”
Awesome news for the landscape and growth of college hockey, especially growing the amount of D1 programs out west.
Per USCHO Mel Pearson's Michigan Tech is #1 in the nation. I know this isn't new news but worthy of discussion, maybe.
We all think Red is gone. Now that Mel is back at Tech, is there any chance on bringing him back?
Another game against American International. Let's keep piling on after last night's 5-2 win and get a sweep.
Let's Go Blue!
I'm not sure how well publicized this was, but John Bacon hosted a showing of the 2004 movie "Miracle" last night at North Quad. Anyone who was sentient on Feb 22, 1980 knows where they were that night (I was 12 and when it ended I ran outside into the snowy cul-de-sac just to burn off energy at about 10 pm and at about 10 degrees -- before I knew it there 4-5 other kids doing the same thing, jumping up and down/high fiving). The movie conveys the team and the era well. I hadn't realized that Bacon was working on a project with the team's coach, Herb Brooks, when Brooks died in 2003 (I assume a bio but he didn't say). Anyway, John came out in a nearly "full Herb" ensemble including a camel hair jacket (but no plaid pants), mentioned that he'd spoken to Brook's widow Patti on the way there, and told some interesting stories:
1. It's well-known that Brooks was the last player cut from the 1960 team, but I didn't know he was the captain in 1968. In Grenoble one day, Brooks claimed to be lost in the Olympic village, got a ride on the Russian hockey team's bus on its way to practice and then spent an hour in the rafters taking notes about their practice regimen.
2. John watched a tape of the game itself with Slava Fetisov and Mike Ramsey (who were on the Soviet and US teams). At one point, Slava hit pause and rewound to point out that in the 3rd period you can see he was gassed at a faceoff and the Americans weren't, which had never happened to the Soviet team before.
3. The Russians didn't show a lot of reaction after the loss and seemed more suprised that angry in the handshake line. Fetisov told John that winning has been become so routine for them that they were fascinated by the Americans unrestrained joy at victory.
4. I had forgotten that the US was behind to Finland in the gold medal game in the 3rd period (the Soviet game was the semis). Bacon said that, in some ways, getting the team on track to come back and win that game Sunday after the shocking upset on Friday was as impressive as beating the Russians.
One other aside, in the movie they play Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech as Brooks leaves the team's Christmas party. That talk is remembered as emblematic of a failed presidency, but it actually is a hell of speech (this is not a political statement -- the speech was not about policy and I can think of great speeches by politicians of all stripes.)