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Former Flames part-owner Hotchkiss dies at 83

Wednesday, 06.22.2011 / 6:01 PM / News

Associated Press

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Former Calgary Flames part-owner Harley Hotchkiss, a Hockey Hall of Famer, died Wednesday. He was 83.

Hotchkiss died of prostate cancer, the team said. He was part of the group that bought the Atlanta Flames and moved the club to Calgary in 1980. The Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989.

"Harley's vision, his leadership, his integrity and his commitment to our game - particularly in Canada - were key components in making hockey, and the National Hockey League, as strong as they are today," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "He was passionately devoted to his family, his Flames, his community and his country."

Hotchkiss, who served as chairman of the NHL's board of governors from 1995-2007, sold his minority stake in the Flames this season. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

"Harley was a cherished friend and counselor, and I will miss him terribly," Bettman said. "As we grieve his passing, we honor Harley's immeasurable contributions."

Hotchkiss and NHL Players' Association president Trevor Linden tried to prevent a season-long lockout in 2004-05, but didn't succeed.

Hotchkiss worked as a geologist, manager and president for several oil companies before he established his own energy companies. Hotchkiss and his wife, Becky, made large donations to health care and research. The Calgary Brain Institute was renamed the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in 2004.

"We lost a tremendous man today," former Flames forward Theo Fleury said on Twitter. "Thank you for all you taught us. You will be missed."

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