|Born||Bruce Patrick McNall|
April 17, 1950
Arcadia, California, United States
|Residence||Tarzana, Los Angeles, California|
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles,|
|Occupation||Historian, film producer, sports teams owner, racehorse owner|
|Board member of||Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Argonauts|
Bruce Patrick McNall Ph.D. (born April 17, 1950 in Arcadia, California) is a former American historian, Thoroughbred racehorse owner, and a sports executive who once owned the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
McNall claimed to have made his initial fortune as a coin collector, though Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Hoving claimed he smuggled art antiquities.
McNall bought a 25 percent stake in the Kings from Jerry Buss in 1986, and bought an additional 24 percent in 1987 to become the team's largest shareholder. He was named team president that September, and purchased Buss' remaining shares in March 1988. He then shocked the sports world on August 9, 1988 when he acquired the NHL's biggest star, Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, from the Edmonton Oilers for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first-round draft choices and $15 million. McNall raised Gretzky's annual salary from less than $1 million to $3 million, which, in turn, triggered a dramatic rise in NHL salaries throughout the 1990s.
McNall's profile rose almost as fast as that of the Kings, culminating in his election as chairman of the NHL Board of Governors—the league's second-highest post—in 1992.
Then, just as fast as his star rose, it fell. In December 1993, he defaulted on a $90 million loan, and Bank of America ordered him to put the Kings up for sale or they would force the team into bankruptcy. Under this pressure, McNall was forced to sell controlling interest in the Kings in May 1994 and resign as chairman of the board of governors, though he still remained as president and governor of the Kings for a time.
Shortly afterward, he granted a bizarre interview to Vanity Fair in which he admitted to smuggling many of his prized coins out of foreign countries. Other rumors surfaced about his financial situation. Finally, on December 14, he pled guilty to five counts of conspiracy and fraud, and admitted to bilking six banks out of $236 million over a ten-year period. He was sentenced to 70 months in prison.
Immediately after McNall's conviction, it emerged that he'd grossly mismanaged the Kings financially. The team was ultimately forced into bankruptcy. Nonetheless, McNall remained on good terms with many of his former players, with Gretzky, Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille and others visiting him in prison. Gretzky even refused to allow the Kings to retire his number 99 until McNall could attend the ceremony. McNall also attended Robitaille's uniform retirement ceremony in 2007.
McNall was released in 2001 after his sentence was reduced by 13 months for good behavior. He was on probation until 2006.
In 2003, McNall published an autobiography titled Fun While It Lasted: My Rise and Fall in the Land of Fame and Fortune.
On June 1, 2009, in a list of published tax cheats by the State of California, Bruce Patrick McNall of Tarzana (a City of Los Angeles neighborhood) was listed as owing $7,461,764, the second largest amount owed by an individual in California.