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MIAMI (AP) H. Wayne Huizenga Mikael Granlund Jersey , a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, has died. He was 80.Huizenga (HY’-zing-ah) died Thursday night at his home, said Valerie Hinkell, a longtime assistant. The cause was cancer, said Bob Henninger, executive vice president of Huizenga Holdings.Starting with a single garbage truck in 1968, Huizenga built Waste Management Inc. into a Fortune 500 company. He purchased independent sanitation engineering companies, and by the time he took the company public in 1972, he had completed the acquisition of 133 small-time haulers. By 1983, Waste Management was the largest waste disposal company in the United States.The business model worked again with Blockbuster Video, which he started in 1985 and built into the leading movie rental chain nine years later. In 1996, he formed AutoNation and built it into a Fortune 500 company.Huizenga was founding owner of baseball’s Florida Marlins and the NHL’s Florida Panthers – expansion teams that played their first games in 1993. He bought the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and their stadium for $168 million in 1994 from the children of founder Joe Robbie but had sold all three teams by 2009.”Wayne Huizenga was a seminal figure in the cultural history of South Florida,” current Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement. ”He completely changed the landscape of the region’s sports scene. … Sports fans throughout the region owe him a debt of thanks.”The Marlins won the 1997 World Series, and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, but Huizenga’s beloved Dolphins never reached a Super Bowl while he owned the team.”If I have one disappointment, the disappointment would be that we did not bring a championship home,” Huizenga said shortly after he sold the Dolphins to Ross. ”It’s something we failed to do.”Huizenga earned an almost cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment into the leading video rental chain by snapping up competitors. He cracked Forbes’ list of the 100 richest Americans, becoming chairman of Republic Services, one of the nation’s top waste management companies, and AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive retailer. In 2013, Forbes estimated his wealth at $2.5 billion.For a time, Huizenga was also a favorite with South Florida sports fans, drawing cheers and autograph seekers in public. The crowd roared when he danced the hokeypokey on the field during an early Marlins game. He went on a spending spree to build a veteran team that won the World Series in the franchise’s fifth year.But his popularity plummeted when he ordered the roster dismantled after that season. He was frustrated by poor attendance and his failure to swing a deal for a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.Many South Florida fans never forgave him for breaking up the championship team. Huizenga drew boos when introduced at Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino’s retirement celebration in 2000 and kept a lower public profile after that.In 2009, Huizenga said he regretted ordering the Marlins’ payroll purge.”We lost $34 million the year we won the World Series, and I just said Youth Mikko Koivu Jersey , `You know what, I’m not going to do that,”’ Huizenga said. ”If I had it to do over again, I’d say, `OK, we’ll go one more year.”’He sold the Marlins in 1999 to John Henry, and sold the Panthers in 2001, unhappy with rising NHL player salaries and the stock price for the team’s public company.Tributes from three sports and beyond poured in, reflecting the range of his reach.”Saddened to hear about the passing of successful entrepreneur and Great Floridian Wayne Huizenga,” Gov. Rick Scott tweeted. ”He had a tremendous impact on our state and the world of business.”The Marlins released a statement describing Huizenga as ”the original Florida Marlin,” and said he ”will be remembered as much for his contributions to South Florida professional sports as he was for his many charitable endeavors in the surrounding community.”Huizenga’s first sports love was the Dolphins – he had been a season-ticket holder since their first season in 1966. But he fared better in the NFL as a businessman than as a sports fan.He turned a nifty profit by selling the Dolphins and their stadium for $1.1 billion, nearly seven times what he paid to become sole owner. But he knew the bottom line in the NFL is championships, and his Dolphins perennially came up short.Huizenga earned a reputation as a hands-off owner and won raves from many loyal employees, even though he made six coaching changes. He eased Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula into retirement in early 1996, and Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, interim coach Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Tony Sparano followed as coach.Johnson tweeted: ”A great man, one of the nicest individuals I have ever known, Wayne Huizenga passed away. RIP.”Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in the Chicago suburbs on Dec. 29, 1937, to a family of garbage haulers. He began his business career in Pompano Beach in 1962, driving a garbage truck from 2 a.m. to noon each day for $500 a month.One customer successfully sued Huizenga, saying that in an argument over a delinquent account, Huizenga injured him by grabbing his testicles – an allegation Huizenga always denied.”I never did that. The guy was a deputy cop. It was his word against mine, a young kid Ryan Suter Jersey ,” he told Fortune magazine in 1996.Huizenga was a five-time recipient of Financial World magazine’s ”CEO of the Year” award, and was the Ernst & Young ”2005 World Entrepreneur of the Year.”Regarding his business acumen, Huizenga said: ”You just have to be in the right place at the right time. It can only happen in America.”In 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon. Together they had two children, Wayne Jr. and Scott. They divorced in 1966. Wayne married his second wife, Marti Goldsby, in 1972. She died in 2017.A memorial service will be held Thursday – opening day for the Marlins, the team Huizenga founded 25 years ago.— WASHINGTON (AP) Jon Cooper walked into the locker room and didn’t get the sense Lightning players were down in the dumps about losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference final.”It was more kind of like an anger of like we want to get back – like let’s get Game 3 going here,” Tampa Bay’s coach said.Game 3 on Tuesday night in Washington can’t come soon enough for the Lightning, who are in a historically difficult spot after losing twice at home to open the series.Of the 41 previous times a team lost the first two games in the conference finals, 39 went on to lose the series – including every team that lost its first two at home.”For us, it’s all about resetting everything,” defenseman Victor Hedman said Monday. ”There’s no panic. We’re obviously not happy with losing two games on home ice, but that is not something that goes into our locker room.”We’ve got the experience. We’ve got the guys that are in the playoffs for the first time, guys have been through this, and we’re capable of handling that.”The Lightning under Cooper haven’t lost the first two games of a series since 2014, when they were swept in the first round by Montreal. That was a learning experience players could point to when they went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but right now it’s just an ugly deficit.It is the same deficit the Lightning erased against the Capitals in 2003.”If you just look where you stand in the series, I feel like it’s a big mountain to climb,” said former Lightning captain Martin St. Louis, who was on that team. ”They got to focus on just winning the next game. And I truly believe if they do that, it’s going to be a long series.”After not allowing Boston to score an even-strength goal in the final three games during the second round, Tampa Bay has been outscored 7-1 by Washington at even strength and 10-4 overall.Asked what the Lightning needed to do better, three-time Cup-winning defenseman Ken Daneyko responded, ”Where do we begin?””They were so responsible defensively, making good puck decisions and through the first two rounds they didn’t give up a whole lot,” said Daneyko Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey Womens , now an NHL Network analyst.”Just mental breakdowns, mental mistakes by Tampa Bay. You never know why it turns so drastically like that when they were so sound against the Bruins. That can’t happen.”Mistakes are happening in abundance, most notably passing up shots that lead to opportunities the other way. And ill-timed penalties late in periods have led directly to Capitals power-play goals, which definitely can’t continue happening if the Lightning want to make this a series.”We need to do a better job of not getting in that situation, not letting two games in a row, 7, 8 seconds left on the power play and they get one,” defenseman Dan Girardi said. ”That’s something we can definitely control ourselves.”As clinically as Tampa Bay eliminated New Jersey and Boston in five games apiece, Washington is rolling behind the scoring of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov and the goaltending of Braden Holtby, who has stopped 52 of 56 shots through two games.The Capitals are feeling confident right now, but after falling behind 0-2 on home ice in the first round and roaring back to beat Columbus, they understand how fast things can swing.”We’re off to a heck of a start, but we’ve got to take care of business at home,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”If they win one or two here, boy, the momentum switches big time.”For the Lightning to win one or two games, they’ll need to get better production out of captain Steven Stamkos and winger Nikita Kucherov and better play out of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who hasn’t been at his best.”He’s going to have to be great,” said Keith Jones, a former NHL forward and current NBC Sports analyst. ”He’s being challenged to look through traffic and stay up. … Vasilevskiy’s going to have to play unbelievably well unless the Capitals take a step back.”If the Lightning can’t figure out how to fix many of their problems from the net out, it’ll be a short series. Cooper sounded confident of a turnaround.”There’s a really good group of guys there,” Cooper said. ”They’ve got a ton of experience and when their backs have been against the wall, they’ve shown a propensity to fight back. This is a tough one. We lost two at home and it’s definitely not an ideal situation. But we’re not done. It’s not over.”NOTES: Capitals coach Barry Trotz said C Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed three consecutive games with a right hand injury, remains day-to-day. … Washington D Michal Kempny was fined $2,419 – the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement – for cross-checking Lightning F Cedric Paquette during Game 2.—
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