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NHL remembers Bailey, Bavis, Sweeney on Sept. 11

by John McGourty
The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks marked one of the most painful days in United States history. More than 3,000 people have died as the result of the attacks eight years ago. And, like the rest of America, the NHL was not spared.

Los Angeles Kings Director of Pro Scouting Garnet "Ace" Bailey, 53, and Kings scout Mark Bavis, 31, were aboard United Flight 175 out of Boston's Logan Airport, the second plane to hit the World Trade Center.

American Airlines flight attendant Madeline "Amy" Sweeney, 35, was killed while working on American Flight 11, also out of Logan. She was the sister-in-law of former NHL player Bob Sweeney, now the director of development for the Boston Bruins Foundation.

Sweeney, who had filled-in for another employee who called in sick, was the first person to alert authorities to the impending disaster when she used her cell phone to contact American Airlines several times to give them a description of the hijackers and what they were planning. The first call arrived at 8:16 a.m. She was still on the phone when her plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.

Flight 175, with Bailey and Bavis aboard, crashed into the south tower at 9:03 a.m.

Bailey was a popular, hard-working "grinder" in his 568 NHL games over 10 seasons for the Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals. After retiring, Bailey spent 13 years as a scout for the Edmonton Oilers. He was in his seventh year as Kings' director of pro scouting.

Bailey was given his first front-office job, in Edmonton, by Glen Sather, now the president and general manager of the Rangers. Sather gave great credit to Bailey for his reports on upcoming playoff opponents during the Oilers' run of five Stanley Cups from 1984-90. Ironically, Bailey was given Sather's uniform No. 14 by the Bruins after Sather was claimed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1969 Intra-league draft.

Bailey left his widow, Katherine, and son, Todd.

Bavis, meanwhile, was a standout Boston-area youth-hockey player, along with his twin brother, Mike, now an assistant coach at Boston University. The Bavis brothers starred for Catholic Memorial High School and then played four seasons, 1989-93, for Boston University.

Mark Bavis was drafted by the Rangers in the ninth round, No. 181, in the 1989 Entry Draft. He played for the Providence Bruins and Fredericton Canadiens in the AHL and for the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL. He was in his second year as a Kings' scout after serving as an assistant coach at Harvard University.

Bavis left his mother, Mary, brothers Mike, Patrick and John, and sisters Kelly, Mary Ellen and Kathy.

The Mark Bavis Ice Arena in Rockland, Mass., was named in his honor. The Kings renamed their mascot, Bailey, in Ace's honor.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security created the annual Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery to state residents who perform exceptional acts of bravery. Madeline "Amy" Sweeney left her husband, Michael, a police officer, and two children, Jack and Anna.
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