Former Newfoundland premier Danny Williams living out his post-politics dream job

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

You would think that former premiers and prime ministers don't really need 'day jobs' after they leave political life.

After all, they earn huge pensions and they could probably make a few bucks by doing the odd speaking engagement. But surprisingly, that's not the case with a lot of ex-politicos in Canada; it's certainly not the case with former Newfoundland premier Danny Williams.

According to the Globe and Mail, Williams is now the President and de facto franchisee of the American Hockey League's St. John's IceCaps — the Winnipeg Jets' farm team.

"He brokered the team's relocation to Newfoundland and serves as its president, courting sponsors, reviewing finances and checking stocks of merchandise," notes the article adding that he leases the team, taking on the expenses and collects the profits.

"During the IceCaps' playoff run last year, he even traveled with them, fraternizing with players over meals and rounds of golf."

[ Related: Building spree on new St. John's developments valued at $1 billion ]

The 63 year old Williams, who served as Newfoundland's premier from 2003 to 2010, is no stranger to the world of hockey. The Globe notes that he captained his university hockey team, oh so many years ago, and even sat on the board of the Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate in the 1990s.

"This is a labour of love for me," he told the Globe and Mail.

"It's an opportunity to combine my passion for hockey with my business experience. I'm involved in everything, from soup to nuts."

In 2009/10, I wrote a series of "Where are they now" columns for The Hill Times.

I spoke to former Prime Minister Joe Clark, who at time was the executive chairman of Clark Sustainable Resource Developments, a company involved in salvaging and harvesting wood from underwater forests in Africa.

I corresponded with NDP MP Svend Robinson who was living in Geneva with his beau and working for an international non-profit organization called The Global Fund.

And I spoke with Reform Party founder Preston Manning who was launching his conservative think-tank, the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.

Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien have since lent their names to prestigious law firms while also earning big bucks sitting on executive boards.  New Brunswick's Frank McKenna, is now the deputy chair at the TD Bank Group, while former premiers Gordon Campbell and Gary Doer have been given cushy diplomatic posts.

In my opinion, the award for the 'most fun post-politico job' goes to Danny Williams.  He got to run a province and now a hockey team — how great is that?

[ Related: Blogger files countersuit against Danny Williams ]