View Full Version : NHL COO John Collins Departs Resigns to Explore New Business Opportunity

Phil in Absentia
11-25-2015, 03:29 PM
NHL COO John Collins has left his position with the league to pursue a new business opportunity.

Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick initially reported Collins’ departure.

Collins was an instrumental force in many of the NHL’s high-profile ventures and deals since the league hired him in 2006. He became the NHL’s COO in 2008.

Collins was a vital part in the NHL’s upward business path since the 2004-05 lockout. He was one of the creative minds behind the Winter Classic and Stadium Series events, that have become a major league initiative in the last several years.

He also helped with the media side of the league, pushing for all-access shows on HBO and EPIX leading up to the Winter Classic and Stadium Series games. Collins helped broker a 10-year, $2 billion deal with NBC Sports for US television rights and a 12-year $5.2 (Canadian) billion deal with Rogers for Canadian TV rights. Last summer the league announced a six-year digital partnership with MLB Advanced Media.

Collins was an important cog in the NHL’s push to restart the World Cup of Hockey as well as the league’s addition of “enhanced” stats to its website.



What a massive loss for the NHL's front office. This guy was brilliant.

11-25-2015, 08:01 PM
“It’s been a great run, and there’s a lot still to do. But for me, I completed, with Gary … the whole business was kind of reinvented,” said Collins. “But there’s a lot of things that I want to do, but there’s nothing I feel like I’ve left undone.”

Collins decided to leave the NHL because he wanted his own “skin in the game.”

He said he felt an entrepreneurial spirit while working within the NFL and the NHL, but sought a chance to have his own equity at stake for his efforts. His new venture will be announced on Monday; and while details are fairly under wraps, we can tell you it involves management of Super Bowl-level events in sports and entertainment and has some significant financial backing from high-profile investors.

It’s a new challenge. “When the opportunity came, I felt I had accomplished a lot [at the NHL]. Not everything, but a lot,” said Collins.

It’s understandable that Collins would want one. All the wheels he’s put in motion are speeding along in the NHL. The TV deals span a decade. The outdoor games are thriving. His newly minted partnerships with companies like GoPro and SAP and MLBAM are burgeoning. The World Cup of Hockey, another Collins project, will debut in 2016; the “Ryder Cup” style tournament that will likely supplant the All-Star Game at some point is also a Collins project.

“I left a five-year plan for Gary. I’m sure it’ll change. It changed under me, even when we had a three-year plan,” said Collins.