SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors is pleased to announce that league president and chief executive officer David Andrews has agreed to terms on a new five-year contract that will see him continue to lead the AHL through the 2009-10 season.
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.
“The Board of Governors was unanimous in its decision to endorse David Andrews’ leadership for the next five years,” said Bill Torrey, member of the AHL’s executive committee and honored member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. “The decision was based on his having one of the best track records in sports today, and his experience and guidance which has brought the AHL to its strongest position ever.”
Under Andrews’ direction, the AHL has become the sole primary development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. In 2001, he led one of the largest expansion efforts ever in professional sports, a complex enterprise of bringing nine new cities into the AHL, including six from the soon-to-be-defunct International Hockey League. Andrews has guided the AHL’s entry into major North American cities such as Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Winnipeg, Houston, Milwaukee, Cleveland and San Antonio during his 11-year tenure, while also ensuring the league’s success in smaller historical and traditional markets like Hershey, Rochester, Springfield and Binghamton.
League attendance has risen dramatically during Andrews’ tenure, climbing more than 135 percent since 1994. The AHL established all-time attendance records during the 2004-05 season, averaging 5,960 fans per game in the regular season and surpassing the 7-million mark overall for the first time in its 69-year history.
The annual AHL All-Star Classic and Calder Cup Playoffs have become marquee events for the American Hockey League, and the AHL also now boasts an impressive list of corporate partners who have used the growing league as an effective tool for marketing their products and services.
A native of Nova Scotia, Andrews came to the league office with a firsthand knowledge of the AHL, having served as the Edmonton Oilers’ director of AHL operations for seven years and building the Cape Breton Oilers’ 1993 Calder Cup championship team. 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.
Maurice Podoloff (1936-52)
Emory Jones (1952-53)
John B. Sollenberger (1953-54)
John D. Chick (1954-57)
Richard F. Canning (1958-61)
James G. Balmer (1962-64)
Jack Riley (1964-66)
Jack A. Butterfield (1966-94)
David A. Andrews (1994- )