Aug 25

When the Universe is Talking… maybe you should listen.

Yesterday, my good friend Steve Schwan, owner of Buster’s Bar and Grill, came to our table in his restaurant, cackling like a madman about an irrepressible secret.

“Psst,” he said, “wait til you see what I’ve got.”

Sure enough, he produced an original Sens bid book–a leather bound tome (written mostly by former Ottawa Senators president Cyril Leeder).

“Where the heck did you get that, Steve?” I asked.

“Look at its front cover!”

Each copy of our 1990 application to the NHL was embossed with the individual name of every governor and alternate governor of each National League team. Sure enough, this one said, “Glen Sather, Alternate Governor, Edmonton Oilers.”

Chills went down my spine seeing this for the first time in nearly 30 years.

“Glen and I are neighbors,” Steve said. “He gave me his copy and inscribed it to me too.” 

Sure enough he did. You can see that in one of the above photos I took.

“Hey Steve. Next time you see Glen (they’re neighbors in Florida), can you thank him for two things for me?”

“Sure. Umm, what things?”

“First of all, it was his hockey advice (and that of Sam Pollock in Montreal and Bill Torrey (from Long Island)) that the Sens followed–to build a Stanley Cup winner you have to build through the draft and that the best trades you make are the ones you don’t.

“Secondly, it was his owner at that time (Peter Pocklington) who said to the board of governors (on December 6th 1990), ‘I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to allow a frigging socialist (Ontario premier Bob Rae who opposed the construction of the Palladium now Canadian Tire Centre) to tell us where we can put our expansion teams. I vote for Ottawa.”

That was how, later that day, Ottawa got its expansion franchise under the NHL’s Plan of Sixth Expansion.

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and Business coach 1-613-762-8884


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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.