John McConnell, the steel magnate and majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets, died Friday at the age of 84.
The NHL club and Worthington Industries, the $3 billion-a-year steel processing company McConnell founded, announced the passing.
“He was a pioneer in bringing the NHL to Columbus and the state of Ohio,” said Sharks President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Jamison. “He was a wonderful leader in their community and terrific fit for the Board of Governors. We at the Sharks send our condolences to his family and the Columbus community.”
McConnell also was an early investor in Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew and a former minority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Blue Jackets issued the following statement.
"Words simply cannot express the deep sadness felt by the Columbus Blue Jackets organization today. The National Hockey League would not be in Columbus if it weren't for Mr. Mac's love for this community and his deep commitment to it. He has always been, and will continue to be, the foundation on which our organization is built and we will work everyday to practice the values by which he lived his life.
"Mr. Mac was an honorable man who believed in the golden rule, 'Treat others as you want to be treated.' An enormously successful businessman, his accomplishments in that arena were surpassed only by his endeavors that improved the lives of others. Every person who knew Mr. Mac is the better for it and everyone in our organization will miss him dearly."