I owned the Los Angeles Kings and brought Gretzky to LA. I also once owned the Toronto Argonauts with Wayne and John Candy.

I am currently serving on the board of ProCon.org and we are hosting a charity golf tournament on Dec 2nd with Canada California Business Council. Check us out at www.rfdp.ca/LAgolf

PROOF: pic.twitter.com/AIOF2tugIY

Comments: 167 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

Canuckle77722 karma

I am from Red Deer, AB and my team was the Edmonton Oilers. When Gretzky got traded I stopped watching hockey. I switched over to watching Basketball until Michael Jordan quit, then I finally came back to hockey. You did this to me!

BruceMcNall34 karma

I'm proud of it! I'm proud I can help you out in your life! HAHA!

Canuckle77725 karma

NOW I AM A FLAMES FAN BRUCE!!! A FLAMES FAN!!! runs off crying

BruceMcNall35 karma

hahahahahaha! It's an improvement. When you become a Kings fan let me know.

Puckfiend16 karma

I found out about the Gretzky trade from my father and didn't believe him when he told me. Thanks for saving my beloved Kings from folding or moving.

BruceMcNall12 karma

That was likely to happen at one point. I was lucky to keep them around long enough to win a cup.

Bravetoasterr14 karma

The comment/answer ratio in this AMA is pretty stellar. Thanks for stopping in for this and answering everyone's questions!

BruceMcNall10 karma

You got it!

dinablake14 karma

How did you convince Gretzky to come to LA?

BruceMcNall20 karma

He didn't want to come. When he found out he was getting sold, he thought this was the best place to come. Plus, the money, sun, and fun.

ItsOregano14 karma

Was there ever a regret you had during your ownership?

BruceMcNall22 karma

Yep. Quite a few. I really pissed off Gretzky by trading Paul Coffey. And of course we didn't win the Cup in 93. Not Marty's fault.

Lati414 karma

How did hockey change in LA after the Gretzky deal? Did you notice a lot of people show more interest in the sport around Los Angeles?

BruceMcNall19 karma

It went crazy. Hockey went from being a non event, except to a few people, to the biggest show in town. It's what I'm most proud of.

dinablake13 karma

I heard Marty McSorley is actually like a really nice guy in person. Is that true? If so, how could he be so crazy on the ice? What was his relationship like with Gretzky off the ice?

BruceMcNall10 karma

Ya, he is a great guy off the ice. Very mellow. I think he just knew his job and flipped the switch when he got on the ice. Marty and Wayne were always good friends and hung out together off the ice.

Quertis10 karma

How was it owning the Honus Wagner card? In your opinion was it altered at all?

BruceMcNall11 karma

I would say it is great owning the best of anything. Whether it be a baseball card or a hockey player. At the time I didn't believe it was altered and the grading company, PSA, also agreed, but I'm honestly not sure. I doubt it was altered, but I honestly don't know for sure.

BruceMcNall8 karma

In any case, even altered, it is still the best in the world.

eldeej9 karma

While in jail did you ever have any communication with Gretzky or any other player/celeb friends you made while owner of the Kings?

BruceMcNall14 karma

Yes, Gretzky and his family would come to see me and Luc and his would also visit me regularly. As a matter of fact the last visit I had was in Milan, Michigan where Luc and Rob Blake came. They didn't stay long, they were terrified! Also, the fact that Wayne didn't allow his jersey to be retired until I was out meant a lot to me.

eldeej10 karma

Thanks for reply! I met you back at forum while with my dad outside your owners box area under the old retired jerseys when I was younger and I never forgot how approachable and nice you were to us both.

BruceMcNall8 karma

That's nice. Very cool.

boymayor9 karma

Are you still a hockey fan? If so, do you root for the Kings, or another team? If not, uh... what sports do you like?

BruceMcNall18 karma

Yes, still a hockey fan. Die Hard Kings Fan. My one and only team. They still treat me like a King too. I also am a football fan since I owned one and also owned 2 basketball teams so I am a basketball fan as well. However, hockey is still my main interest.

King_of_da_Castle9 karma

What was the deciding factor in allowing the Ducks to play in Anaheim. I don't know the whole story but from what I understand, you had the ability to block them from being so close to the LA market.

BruceMcNall12 karma

$25 Million. I thought Disney would be a great partner for the NHL and the 25 mil didn't hurt.

dogtown5608 karma

How did it feel to watch the Kings win the Cup in 2012? Did you celebrate with the team or get a ring?

BruceMcNall25 karma

Yes, I celebrated with the team and they gave me a ring. Dustin Brown came over with the Cup to take photos of me and him with the Cup. It was great.

jahomes8 karma

How are you?

BruceMcNall16 karma

I'm okay but old.

Ricekrisper14 karma

I hope you get younger soon.

BruceMcNall8 karma

Any ideas? I'm trying!

scapegrace8 karma

Hi Bruce, two part question, 1. I absoluiely love the black and silver jerseys, what was your reasoning for the color change though? and 2. Do you like the new silver and black kings jerseys?

BruceMcNall9 karma

  1. The players HATED the old Laker colors they were wearing. They thought they were bananas on ice! I knew that basic black and white goes with anything and would sell better. More people would wear it than black and purple. We also wanted to get out of the Raiders shadow. Al Davis wasn't happy with me!

  2. They are ok. But I like the old ones better!

another_handle7 karma

Bring back the vintage forum blue and gold~! Bruce make it happen!

BruceMcNall6 karma

I'll ask Luc tonight.

Ricekrisper8 karma

How do you feel about the Argos being beaten by the Tigercats?

BruceMcNall6 karma

Thankfully I don't own them anymore so I'm not too upset.

Ricekrisper5 karma

You should become a tigercat fan then.

Or become an actual tigercat.

BruceMcNall8 karma

I couldn't survive in Hamilton.

Ricekrisper7 karma

Ah. I see no mention of a problem in turning into an actual tigercat. This pleases me.

BruceMcNall3 karma

I am not averse to turning into a Tigercat. Sounds fun.

masutheakita8 karma

What's your opinion of Gary Bettman?

BruceMcNall12 karma

I hired him. Since the league has survived and thrived I think he is doing a good job in a tough position.

smntstatus8 karma

What's the deal with the FBI agent who arrested you attending your golf tournament? Do you have the ability to befriend literally anyone?

BruceMcNall9 karma

He actually believed what I told him, and he treated me well. We've become friends since. He's happy to support ProCon.org because he's also interested in education. But it is pretty crazy.

v1be7 karma

Do you ever think that a modern day Gretzky Deal could be done in todays age of the salary cap?Let's say for instance involving a player like Sidney Crosby in a trade.

BruceMcNall23 karma

No chance. No chance that it can happen again. In part the league would never allow a team to buy a player the way I did and guise it as a trade. Also, there is not a player that could have the same effect Gretzky had at that time in this day and age. There is a difference between the best player currently and the best player EVER.

sdf7897 karma

  1. Have you ever tried to acquire Mark Messier or Glenn Anderson or any of Wayne's former teammates that we're not on the Kings?
  2. Did the oilers initially want Luc Robitaille in the Gretzky deal or did Pocklington just want money in exchange for Gretzky, Marty, and Mike?

BruceMcNall7 karma

  1. Yes, I tried to acquire as many of those guys as I could. Wayne really pushed me to get them. I couldn't get Messier or Anderson but I did get Fuhr, Kurri, and Coffey.

  2. Pocklington basically wanted the money but Glen Sather wanted the best players he could. Robitaille was number 1 on his list and it took forever to get him to realize I wasn't giving up Luc.

sdf7897 karma

How did you get interested in trying to acquire Gretzky?

BruceMcNall11 karma

Being in LA I know the value of celebrity and the value of stars. The only name that anybody knew in LA was Gretzky. So it became my mission to get The Great One, the best in the world.

Steve317 karma

What was the worst thing and best thing about owning a hockey team?

BruceMcNall9 karma

The best thing is making fans happy. It's great to make millions of people happy. And it is a great ego booster!

The worst thing is the responsibility involved and you want to do the right thing always and sometimes things don't work out and it's a lot of responsibility to the public to win and do the right thing. Owners don't own teams, they are simply a curator. The fans own the teams. They are the ones that do everything

Retroman87 karma

How hard did John Candy party???

BruceMcNall12 karma


smntstatus5 karma

Stories or it didn't happen.

BruceMcNall19 karma

His wife and kids are still out there. Let's just say that he never met a drink or something to eat that he didn't like. He was the most fun-loving guy I've ever known.

n0wl6 karma

What are your opinions on the NFL (back) in LA? Which stadium location would be more fun, the Staples sports complex, City of Industry, or some other dream scenario?

How do we get Forum blue and gold mains back?

BruceMcNall7 karma

Football is a blue collar sport and LA is a white collar city which always made it difficult. Buying a suite for 8-10 games a season is a tough sell in LA. Personally, as a football fan, I hope it does come back. If it does I think the AEG folks should get it. They have done wonders for downtown.

  1. You don't. EVER.

sdf7896 karma

What was your relationship like with Barry Melrose?

BruceMcNall6 karma

It was great. We had a great time and he may not have been an X's and O's guy, but he knew how to motivate. We're still good friends.

dogtown5606 karma

Do you have any good stories about John Candy from when you guys owned a CFL team? And why the hell were there two CFL teams called the Roughriders?

BruceMcNall6 karma

Haha! Canadians don't have a lot of imagination. Candy loved it. We brought the Blues Brothers opening night. He brought himself on stage as the fourth brother. It was pretty funny.

waxiegordon6 karma


BruceMcNall11 karma

The problem I think with the game today is its stars are now goaltenders and coaches. The way the game is played talent can't shine the way it used to. Passing seems to be a forgotten part of the game. It is simply dump and chase. Also, the stars and personalities of the players are not promoted. I doubt Sidney Crosby walking into Staples Center for a kings game would be noticed.

I saw the 30on30 on Spano. It seemed like he had nothing to start with and tried to pull off the craziest thing I've ever heard in sports, buying a team with nothing!

epenguin6 karma

I was born in Edmonton and grew up an Oilers fan. I got to see them win cup after cup in the 80's only to see a shitty owner trade away the greatest player ever and then proceed to hold the team over the city's head for years as a means to get more and more money from the fans. I switched allegiances when Kurri was finally moved to the Kings. Since that day I've been a devout Kings fan (although I still love me the Oilers). Only to see you put the Kings into financial ruin and sell the team off piece by piece.

Over the years I waited while the Kings bounced between bottom feeder team and fringe playoff team with no real direction. Things were looking up since 2010 and finally on that day in June 2012 it all came together. I can honestly say that outside my wedding day and my kids being born that was one of the greatest days of my life to see Brownie raise that Cup while I sat at home watching.

I was excited for the possibility to see Kurri and Gretz win one in 1993 but having the team fall apart and finally rise back up again to win it all really made me appreciate them winning it. I guess I don't have any real question, I just wanted to say Thanks..?

BruceMcNall4 karma

You're Welcome!

mikerman6 karma

You've had a pretty storied career. What's your biggest regret?

BruceMcNall13 karma

Can't you guess? I think I should have kept a better eye on my accounting instead of letting things get out of control.

_Doyouconcur_5 karma

who do you think was the biggest complimentary player to Gretzky on the 1993 team that made it so far to the playoffs,

BruceMcNall7 karma

In many ways it was McSorley who not only played a tough role but also scored goals and terrorized Doug Gilmour.

Musicmantobes5 karma

What is Gretzky like in person and what was your favorite memory with the Kings? Thank you for coming!

BruceMcNall6 karma

He's a lot more fun in private than people think. He's like an ordinary guy that likes to have fun. My favorite memory was, other than the opening night with Gretzky playing where he scored a goal on his opening shift, it was in the locker room when we won Game 7 in Toronto.

phweeeee5 karma

  1. What motivated you to own the Kings and the Argonauts? What makes someone decide to own a sports franchise?

  2. How did you get treated in jail?

As a Kings fan, thanks for Gretzky!

BruceMcNall5 karma

  1. I was always a sports fan and became a Kings fan in the 70s. It was like a dream to own something that you're a big fan of, and I think every guy's dream.

  2. I was treated with a lot of respect in jail. They all love celebrities, especially sports guys.

7we4k5 karma

Do you and Wayne still own any horses that race? If not, when did you stop, and why?

BruceMcNall6 karma

No, we don't own any horses any more. It wasn't my idea to stop. It was the feds.

7we4k5 karma

Is it against the rules for you to own horses and start racing again?

Edit: I'm honestly not sure if the Feds told you that you could or couldn't after the whole jail thing. Just curious.

BruceMcNall7 karma

Good question. No, it's not. I haven't tried to get a license. And I'm not certain what the rules are, but I think it would be okay. The horse business is pretty slow now, so I'm not sure I'd want to go back in anyway.

7we4k5 karma

Cool, thanks for answering and taking the time to stop by and answer questions for everyone. And also, thanks for bringing the great one state side. California hockey definitely benefited in the long run.

BruceMcNall7 karma

Thanks a lot!

landmule5 karma

Was John Candy as laid back as his persona? I imagine him as a very driven man to have accomplished all that he did in his short life.

BruceMcNall7 karma

He was not laid back at all. He was very driven. When he owned part of the Argonauts with me he would travel all over Canada to help promote not only our team but the whole sport. I don't know anybody who would spend that type of effort.

joetromboni5 karma

How was prison?

BruceMcNall9 karma

I wouldn't recommend it. But for me, I learned to get along and survive OK. It is a chance to stop the day-to-day madness of your life and reflect on what's important.

dmcipod5 karma

Can I go with you to the Kings game tonight?

BruceMcNall17 karma

send photo.

dmcipod5 karma

Usually roll up in my motorcycle to the games with my girlfriend. Picture She is a fan too

BruceMcNall11 karma

I see you didn't read the Madonna AMA! But, no extras unfortunately tonight.

sacdog4 karma

After all that happened with you and the banks do you think it harmed anyone other than rich banks and bankers. IE did any regular people get hurt along the way with all that.

BruceMcNall5 karma

You know, yes, a lot of people I think got hurt. Obviously my family and friends. Also, there may have been layoffs at some of the banks who were ordinary people although I'm not sure. But thankfully only banks were involved and not individuals.

changingxface4 karma

Do you still frequent kings games? And how do you feel about the current state of hockey in Southern California?

BruceMcNall7 karma

Yes, I'm going tonight, as a matter of fact. I am happy about the way hockey has developed in SoCal. Especially youth hockey. They have done a great job!

OrwellQuinn5 karma

Any free tickets you wanna hand out? aye? aye? :/

BruceMcNall4 karma

I'll get right on that and call Luc. He is pretty stingy though.

changingxface2 karma

Both my nephews play youth and they fell in love with the game at the first kings they went to. Thanks for helping hockey get big in SoCal!

BruceMcNall2 karma

Thanks, happy to have done my little part.

thebizer3 karma

What brought you to ProCon.org?

BruceMcNall6 karma

My friend and partner Steve Markoff founded ProCon.org. When he walked me through it, I thought it was wonderful and a great resource for people. Since then I've become a Director.

zattk943 karma

Are you happy now that LA is really turning into a hockey town, with young amazing players, a chance to really compete every year and finally winning the Cup?

BruceMcNall4 karma

I would say I'm thrilled! I hope they keep it up!

thebizer3 karma

How did it feel to bring Gretzky here to LA?

BruceMcNall8 karma

Pretty cool.

amf1311 karma

As a leaf fan not cool... Talking about the 92-93playoffs. IT WAS A PENALTY

BruceMcNall20 karma

And a very cheap way to win a game.