This Week Off The Ice: Ex-Oilers Owner Peter Pocklington Gets Grounded
This week off the ice, Peter Pocklington was grounded.
The former Edmonton Oilers owner was sentenced to six months of house arrest, two years of probation and a $3,000 fine, after pleading guilty to a single count of perjury. (He did, however, manage to avoid a 10-year prison term.)
Pocklington, 68, was charged with making false statements in his Palm Springs bankruptcy case. Prosecutors in the case said that Pocklington concealed many of his assets, including two bank accounts and a pair of storage facilities.
The ex-Oilers owner claimed to have $19 million of debt and only about $3,000 in assets, including $300 in shoes and clothing.
Pocklington was one of the richest men in Canada at one point and acquired the Oilers in the late 1970s. He was later forced to sell the team in 1998 when he filled for bankruptcy in Alberta.
Pocklington’s ownership of the Oilers was marred by controversy.
He is responsible for one of the Stanley Cup’s most memorable and embarrassing engraving errors. Pocklington added his father’s name, Basil Pocklington, to the list of people affiliated with the 1983-84 championship team, whose names were to be engraved on the cup.
The problem was that senior Pocklington was in no way associated with the team. When the NHL caught wind of the mistake they had the engravers strike out the name with a row of 16 Xs.
Pocklington ruffled even more feathers when he traded Canada’s golden boy, Wayne Gretzky, to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988.
In spite of his various distractions, the club won five Stanley Cup titles under Pocklington's ownership.
To reach writer Sara Ramsey, click here.
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