TORONTO — John Ziegler, the fourth president of the NHL who was instrumental in expanding the league by bringing in four teams from the rival World Hockey Association, died Thursday. He was 84.
The NHL confirmed Ziegler’s death on its website.
Ziegler helped broker the 1979 deal that moved the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques and Hartford Whalers into the NHL from the folding WHA.
His 15-year tenure ended in June 1992, when he was forced out of office by owners dissatisfied with his handling of a 10-day strike over player pensions.
Gil Stein took over as interim president after Ziegler’s departure.
The position of NHL president effectively ended with Ziegler, as Gary Bettman became the NHL’s first commissioner on Feb. 1, 1993.
The Canadian Press