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Former Lightning owner Bill Davidson dies at 86



Former Lightning owner Bill Davidson died Friday at age 86. A cause of death was not immediately known, the Detroit Free Press reported. But Davidson, who remained the owner of the NBA's Detroit Pistons, had been in ill health for several years.

Davidson's company, Palace Sports and Entertainment, bought the Lightning in the summer of 1999, selling last summer to Oren Koules' OK Hockey. Tampa Bay won the 2004 Stanley Cup under Davidson's watch.

"The entire Palace family is mourning the loss of Mr. Davidson," Palace CEO Tom Wilson said in a statement. "He was truly a pioneer in so many ways. His legacy will live forever.

Davidson was the first owner to win championships in three different professional sports leagues; with the Lightning, the Pistons in 1989, 1990 and 2004, the WNBA's Detroit Shock in 2004, 2006 and 2008. He is a member of the NBA Hall of Fame.

A resident of Bloomfield, Mich., Davidson is survived by his wife, Karen, and children Ethan and Marla.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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