NHL team execs, owners in the spotlight

NHL team execs, owners in the spotlight

By Ian Thomas, Staff Writer


Sean Henry
CEO and president, Nashville Predators

While the Predators’ on-ice play during their run to the Stanley Cup Final last season caught many by surprise, it was the catfish-throwing, high-decibel crowds that filled both Bridgestone Arena and Nashville’s honky-tonks that blew away many in the sports world. Henry, who joined the team in 2010 from the Tampa Bay Lightning, is at the core of the team’s nationally recognized success, and is now leading the charge to take it a step further, with arena upgrades, further game-day investments and building more ice rinks in Tennessee all on the docket.

Photo by: GETTY IMAGES (2)

Steve Patterson
President and CEO
John Chayka
General manager
Arizona Coyotes

One of the league’s most troubled franchises in recent years, the Coyotes, now under the sole ownership of hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway, have brought in two new executives in recent years in an effort to solve issues of on-ice performance and attendance. Chayka, the league’s youngest GM at 28, is already viewed as one of the league’s savviest and most analytical-driven minds. Patterson, the former athletic director of Arizona State University, will look to use his local connections to find the team a permanent home and build a deeper connection with fans in the state.


Steve Griggs
CEO, Tampa Bay Lightning

Stepping up from president to replace the departing Tod Leiweke in 2015, Griggs has played a key role in the Lightning’s evolution to one of the league’s best-run organizations. Focusing heavily on customer service and the fan experience, Griggs, the Lightning and owner Jeff Vinik will give the league another glimpse of their successes when they host the All-Star Game in January.

Malkin (L), Ledecky (R)

Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky
Owners, New York Islanders

After moving from the decrepit Nassau Coliseum on Long Island to Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015, owners Malkin and Ledecky likely hoped the team’s history of arena issues was behind it. But after two years of sliding attendance, bad ice conditions and poor sight lines, its future is once again murky. The team and the arena will soon have three options: stay with the current 25-year deal, renegotiate by Jan. 1, or opt out by Jan. 30. Malkin and Ledecky, who acquired the team in 2014, have begun to investigate other potential arena sites in the New York City area, including at Belmont Park and around Willets Point near Citi Field.

Tom Anselmi
CEO and president, Ottawa Senators

With the Senators embarking on a plan to build a new arena at LeBreton Flats, owner Eugene Melnyk tabbed the former Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment executive to lead the push. Anselmi, who oversaw the construction of Air Canada Centre, BMO Field and the mixed-use Maple Leaf Square, will also look to re-energize a franchise that has lagged behind its neighbors in Montreal and Toronto.