Don Baizley Tribute
I need to start this post by fully admitting I did not really know who Don Baizley was before his death. Once hearing about his passing I started reading about him and immediately felt ashamed that I did not know of this man’s contributions to the game of hockey.
As a Winnipegger, I want to, in the words of Bob Mckenzie, “celebrate the life of someone who I believe was THE most respected man in the game.”
Baizley represented many great players such as Teemu Selanne, Joe Sakic, Paul Kariya, Peter Forsberg, Theo Fleury, and Saku Koivu. A member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of fame, Baizley will be most remembered for his integrity.
“He defined integrity and honour,” said hockey agent Allan Walsh. “Heaven got one helluva a sports agent.”
General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets, Kevin Cheveldayoff, describes him as “honest, yet fair and a true gentleman in what can sometimes be difficult circumstances.”
The players he represented remember him fondly. He helped a lot of young players become stars and created the situation for all of them to succeed. He is recognized for helping introduce European players to the NHL.
Former Winnipeg Jets, Teemu Selanne, remembers Baizley as “a very special person. He was not only a great agent for me — he was my ‘American Dad,’ great friend, mentor and supporter during my career.”
“Coming from another country, you can’t have it better than having Don handle your things and give you advice,” said former Edmonton Oiler Jari Kurri.
Baizley must have had many opportunities to move to a bigger city like Toronto but had always remained a Winnipgger. It makes me proud to live in this city knowing great people like him not only had their presence here but chose to call this city home.
Fellow Winnipegger, Scott Oake said, “I was privileged to know Don Baizley and to call him a friend. I will miss him.”
“He was an incredible friend and a great resource of information and guidance as the Manitoba Moose passed through the years and into the NHL with the return of the Winnipeg Jets. He will be missed,” said Mark Chipman, Chairman of True North Sports and Entertainment.