The AHL Board of Governors has announced a contract extension for David Andrews, who will continue serving as the league’s President and Chief Executive Officer through June 2020.
Andrews assumed the AHL presidency in 1994 and has solidified himself as one of the sport’s most influential executives. He has guided the league into unequaled times of prosperity, directing the AHL to record levels of attendance and exposure while significantly expanding its geography across the United States and Canada. As Andrews completes his 24th season leading the AHL in 2017-18, only Hockey Hall of Fame member Jack Butterfield (28 seasons) has served longer as President in the AHL’s 82-year history.
“In his 24 years at the helm, Dave Andrews has proven to be a tremendous leader for the American Hockey League,” said Howard Dolgon, owner and governor of the Syracuse Crunch and chairman of the AHL’s executive committee. “His vision, strategic thinking and ability to bring people together for a common good have been major factors in establishing the AHL as the second-best hockey league in the world. On behalf of the Board of Governors, I can state with great pleasure that we are all delighted that Dave will continue to serve as league President. He has our utmost confidence and respect.”
Under Andrews’ leadership, the American Hockey League has redefined itself as the sole primary development league for the National Hockey League, with the vast majority of today’s NHL players, coaches and officials having graduated from the AHL. In 2001, Andrews led one of the largest expansion efforts ever in pro sports – a complex enterprise of bringing six new cities into the AHL as the rival International Hockey League folded. And in 2015, he brought to a successful outcome the multifaceted process of relocating teams into five markets in California, an initiative which has since extended to Arizona and Colorado to continue developing and strengthening the game in the western United States.
The AHL’s footprint has grown dramatically during Andrews’ tenure, with successful franchises throughout North America and in major markets such as Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland, San Antonio, Winnipeg, Charlotte, Milwaukee, San Diego and San Jose. Andrews has also worked to ensure the league’s success in smaller historical and traditional markets like Rochester, Springfield, Hershey, Syracuse, Providence and Binghamton.
As a result of Andrews’ direction, AHL action – including marquee events like the annual AHL All-Star Classic, outdoor games and the Calder Cup Playoffs – has reached international audiences on television networks such as Sportsnet, TSN, CBC, ESPN and NHL Network; on satellite radio; and via live on-line streaming. The league also boasts an impressive list of corporate partners who have looked to the AHL as an effective tool for marketing their products and services, highlighted by a historic partnership with CCM that has become the foundation for the league’s marketing, licensing and on-ice branding strategies.
A native of Nova Scotia, Andrews came to the league office with firsthand knowledge of the AHL, having served as the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate for seven years and winning a Calder Cup in 1993. His extensive hockey background includes serving as head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Cougars, serving on the development council of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and working with SportCanada in preparation for the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary.
Andrews was honored with induction into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 2006, and in 2010 he was a recipient of the prestigious Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to hockey in the United States.