When one makes so much money, it is really their duty to foster good spending habits, for themselves and their loves ones. The 15 hockey players on this list did not manage their money correctly, in fact, they managed their money terribly. Maybe the player made a stupid business move, got arrested, had bad spending habits, or all three.
"In its famous paradox, the equation of money and excrement, psychoanalysis becomes the first science to state what common sense and the poets have long known - that the essence of money is in its absolute worthlessness," Norman O. Brown.
So what does this quote mean exactly? It intends to say that money has no real feeling to invoke happiness in people. Money is used to buy vast and eccentric things, but it can plot the downfall of anyone. Money can turn selfless people into greedy S.O.Bs and greedy S.O.Bs into gracious church goers. It is endlessly powerful both ways.
So what is the definite purpose of this article? Firstly, it should it should be educational. This list is a basically a compilation of things to NOT do, and pursue. FYI, the activities listed should not be pursued.
Some of the men on this list will be obvious to be here, but others will be shocking to readers. Some of your favorite stars are broke, it is a fact. They have blown away their money on luxuries they can no longer afford, or made poor investments. This article is not just how these guys went broke, but also a commentary of what these men are doing today. How they are living their lives as people who lost everything.
15 Kevin Stevens
Stevens was being stupid, when he got arrested while with a prostitute, and on top of that had $500 worth of drugs. To top off this charade that he pulled, he was also married with children at the time of this. I feel very bad for his children, and wife. They must've gone through a whole lot to cope with his mistakes. Despite his mistakes, Stevens was loved by his teammates. He played with Wayne Gretzky in New York and The Great One had nothing but good things to say about him.
"I think the reason people were so drawn to Kevin is he would give the shirt off his back to anybody who needed anything," Gretzky says. "A ride. Somebody to talk to. Kevin was always there. He was comfortable hanging with the captain or the young guys on a team. He was one of those guys nobody disliked."
Perhaps Stevens looked after so many people, that he forgot to look after himself. He retired in 2002.
14 Derek Sanderson
Sanderson spent all of his NHL earnings on drugs, sex, and many other stupid endeavors. He was homeless after retiring. Sanderson was forced to pay his attorney a lot of money for problems in which he inflicted. It should be noted that he made nearly $3 million in his career, but lost basically all of it. “I’m different,” Sanderson said rather casually in an interview. “I have found that I really am different. There’s nobody like me. And not that it’s good or bad.” By the way, if you could get a hand on Sanderson's book entitled "Crossing the Line" it's well worth it as you get to delve into Sanderson's days as an NHL player. He's right in saying he was different.
13 Darren McCarty
Darren McCarty was one of the more beloved players in Red Wings history due to his grit and timely goal scoring. He scored the winning goal of the 1997 Stanley Cup Final and that was also the prettiest goal he ever scored. McCarty filed for bankruptcy during his career in the NHL. Obviously this is strikingly uncommon, and he must have made some very stupid business moves. He owed over $6 million to the bank, and only had around $2 million in his name (assets).
12 Chris Nilan
Chris Nilan was what hockey fans affectionately called an enforcer on the ice. He loved hitting people, and stood up for his teammates. Unfortunately, ge eventually got addicted to a certain drug, and struggled with alcoholism. It should be noted he was charged with shoplifting in 2009. He lost a lot of earnings and self respect that day.
Nowadays, Nilan has his own radio show in Montreal titled "Off The Cuff". He is very open about his past mistakes in NHL, and admits to his blunders. Chris Nilan refueled his life with something he loves, and I applaud him for doing that.
11 Mike Modano
Mike Modano made a couple bad investments. Modano lost nearly $4 million when he took a leap of faith investing in an entertainment corporation. He lost everything for a short amount of time, but worked his way to where he is now. Modano often recounts this as the stupidest mistake of his life.
"From day one, I was really vigilant and very cautious--just play and keep putting it away," Modano recalls. "After 13 years, I was in a position where I could possibly take a couple of chances. I felt excited about it."
Needless to say, Modano regretted his decision heavily. "Our cash flow as professional athletes doesn't last forever, and you need to just let it be and take care of itself."
10 Mike Vernon
Mike Vernon got screwed by Len Barrie. Barrie got him to invest in "Bear Mountain" which didn't do so hot. Vernon invested nearly $10 million, and lost a lot of that money. The project was a failure and Barrie was irresponsible. Vernon struggled to regain momentum. Vernon had a long and very prosperous career, but just like that nearly all of his earnings were washed away. Keep in mind, Vernon wasn't playing in an era that handed out ridiculous contracts. Despite Vernon being a fringe Hall of Fame goaltender, he simply wasn't able to earn the money someone of his caliber would have made in an age like today.
9 Michael Peca
Peca made a lot of money in the NHL, and just as simply, lost a big chunk of it. Peca made the poor decision to invest in a Mexican golf course. Their financial adviser Phil Kenner, who duped Peca into investing, is currently in jail. Kenner spent the investment money on various things, including alcohol. Peca had dais he invested with Kenner because of the trust he had built with him.
"I met Phil when I was 22, and he built a relationship with me and he knew how to play off that relationship,” Peca told the New York Daily News. “It’s like a movie, when you say, ‘How did I miss that?’ and then you go back and re-watch it and see how subtle it was.”
8 Theo Fleury
Fleury violated the NHL substance code of conduct many times. He did drugs, and drank a lot of alcohol. He also was an avid gambler, which lost him a lot of money. Fleury struggled with countless financial issues in NHL, and lost a lot of money he earned. Fleury's troubles stemmed from his youth hockey days when he was sexually abused by his coach, Graham James.
Eventually, Theo published a book "Playing with Fire", noting his mistakes, and crazy adventures in NHL. He even says he almost killed himself at one point, but realized that would be the dumbest move of all. Fleury is trying to regain purpose in his life by writing, and being with loved ones. He's actually become a country singer and his first album I Am Who I Am has been well received.
7 Slava Voynov
Slava was arrested for domestic violence, and he always has been pretty violent. Apparently, he choked his wife, and was very physical towards her. Voynov was making good money but threw it all away, when he decided to hurt his loved one. The NHL decided to take a strong stance against domestic abuse. From a PR standpoint it was practically a must, given that the news on this came on the heels of the NFL handing Ray Rice a mere two-game suspension. Either way, it's for the best that the NHL decided to act strongly and essentially kick Voynov out of the league.
6 Bryan Berard
Berard was another victim of Phil Kenner and his trickery. Berard lost over $6 million in investment money, and helped the FBI get Kenner. Kenner and his business partner, Tommy Constantine, were acting highly fraudulent. Berard explained this in an interview to The National Post. Berard began to get suspicious of Kenner once he started to pay more attention to his savings and where exactly the money was going. “I started paying attention to a lot of the operating deals we were in, and Kenner had more equity than a lot of the players that I knew had hard cash in the deals. Kenner had a larger piece of the pie than he should have,” Berard said.
5 Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr is one of the legends of the game of hockey. Orr's fraudulent sports agent (Alan Eagleson), aided him to being nearly bankrupt. He was highly in debt, and owed thousands to the government.
Today, he is a sports agent and represents players. Orr works for good service to his players, so what transpired with him, doesn't occur with his players. One major client of his in particular, is the Oilers' budding superstar in Connor McDavid. McDavid is on the path to a very long, historic NHL career. Orr wanted to be there for McDavid to ensure nothing bad happened to him. "I'm very lucky to have him around in my life," McDavid told CBC. "He's been a great support guy for me that I can go to if I have any questions or any concerns. He's been through it all, he's done anything that a hockey player wants to do. He's done it all. If there's one guy you can go to talk to, he's a pretty darn good guy to go to."
4 Sergei Fedorov
The common theme in this article, is players making poor investments. That was the case with the former Red Wing. Fedorov was embezzled for nearly $60 million. Fedorov was forced to become a KHL player, and try to make some buck back. Fedorov had to sell many houses, and some had to be foreclosed.
Fedorov explained in an interview with the Palm Beach Post of how he and Joseph Zada, he man that conned him, got so close: “He was very nice when he talked,” the 45-year-old Hall of Famer said. “We had very deep discussions. He was very smart. We shared a passion for cars and nice things in life.”
Even though Fedorov was a millionaire and lived the good life, it still makes fans sick to their stomach that a legend like that could be swindled.
3 Bryan Trottier
Bryan Trottier led the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups in the early 80s. He was perhaps the greatest player in franchise history, but he hit a rough patch after retirement. Trottier opened an ice-rink business but filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Trottier was not only filing for bankruptcy, but also was feeling suicidal.
2 Dany Heatley
Dany Heatley's career was once so full of promise, but his personal troubles always seemed to overshadow his on-ice performance. There were extremely high hopes for him to be the NHL's next big superstar. While Heatley enjoyed several great seasons, it always felt that he was never quite able to reach his full potential. There was the car accident that resulted in teammate Dan Snyder passing away and that wasn't the only one of Heatley's troubles. In 2012, Heatley's financial adviser made $4 million in unauthorized withdrawals from Heatley's account. Heatley sued Stacey McAlpine for $11 million and McAlpine has been sued by other clients as well.
1 Jack Johnson
The NHL All Star filed for bankruptcy, because his parents were bad with his money. Even though he earned nearly $10 million, he was left with $50,000 of assets. He made a mistake that couldn't have been prevented, because who wouldn't trust mom and dad. Johnson's parents made bad business decisions and spent money on things that were not necessary.
Johnson didn't comment on the matter in great detail. “I’d say I picked the wrong people who led me down the wrong path,” Johnson, told The Dispatch. “I’ve got people in place who are going to fix everything now. It’s something I should have done a long time ago.”
Jack Johnson is at the grindstone still playing hockey. He's working to make money back, and changed his money managers. Johnson sued a bank for $1.5 million, and won. He said he is not interested in taking legal action against his parents, because he loves them. He knows they made many mistakes, and will work it out with them, and they will do so as a family. Johnson's still earning good money in the NHL, so hopefully from here on out, he's smarter with it and sets himself up for a future after hockey.
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