The Detroit Red Wings today released the following statement regarding the passing of John A. Ziegler, Jr.:
“On behalf of Marian Ilitch and myself, we’d like to extend our sincere condolences to the Ziegler family,” said Ilitch Holdings President and CEO and Red Wings Governor Christopher Ilitch. “We are extremely grateful for the guidance and support John provided as President of the NHL when our family purchased the Red Wings in 1982, and we are equally thankful for the 17 years he spent with the organization prior to that. John left an immeasurable mark on both the Red Wings organization and the sport of hockey worldwide, and he will be deeply missed.”
Ziegler, who was 84, served as President of the National Hockey League from 1977-92, and prior to that, was a member of the Red Wings’ front-office staff for 17 years (1960-77). Ziegler, who was a Grosse Pointe, Mich., native and graduate of the University of Michigan with a law degree, joined the Red Wings organization in 1960, serving as counsel to Olympia Stadium and the Red Wings. He held various roles with the organization until he was named Vice President, in which he continued to provide legal counsel to the Red Wings in addition to representing the organization on the NHL’s Board of Directors. Ziegler also worked in the same capacity for the team’s minor-league affiliates in the American Hockey League and Central Hockey League. He worked closely with the league offices, serving as Secretary of the NHL in 1968-69 simultaneous to his duties in Detroit.
Ziegler was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987 as a builder. While working with the Red Wings, he established himself in the league offices, serving as Secretary of the NHL in 1968-69. As President of the NHL, Ziegler oversaw the growth of the league from 18 to 24 teams, and was instrumental in exposing the game to a European audience and bringing more European-born players to the NHL.
The Red Wings organization would like to offer its deepest sympathies to the Ziegler family during this difficult time.