David A. Andrews
President and Chief Executive Officer
In his 26th season as President and CEO of the American Hockey League, David Andrews remains one of the most influential executives in hockey and all of minor professional sports. He has grown the AHL exponentially and has significantly redefined its mission, expanding the league’s footprint from a regional 16-team circuit to a 31-team league stretching from coast to coast with every AHL franchise serving as the exclusive primary development affiliate for a National Hockey League organization.
Andrews has dramatically repositioned the league since 1994 by attracting new member cities, recruiting new ownership and forging new development partnerships with all 31 NHL teams: during his tenure he has managed more than 230 transactions impacting member clubs’ locations, ownership and NHL affiliation agreements. In a challenging economic climate and a competitive pro hockey landscape, Andrews has strategically managed and grown an AHL which now impacts the development of nearly 90 percent of the players and virtually all of the coaches, managers and officials in the NHL.
In 2001, Andrews led an expansion which resulted in the absorption of six franchises and the dissolution of the AHL’s longtime competitor, the International Hockey League. And in 2015, Andrews negotiated and brought to a successful outcome the complex process of relocating teams into five markets in California, an enterprise which has since expanded further into Arizona and Colorado and continues to develop and strengthen the game in the western United States.
Andrews has contributed to the growth of hockey by playing a leadership role in rules innovations — such as hybrid icing and 4-on-4 and later 3-on-3 overtime play — and player safety initiatives. The AHL has instituted safety standards relative to head checking and checking from behind; introduced mandatory visors for all skaters; and provided a safer environment for its players by adopting a modified schedule that reduced the number of games played, increased the length of the playing calendar and eliminated sequences of teams playing four games in five days.
On the business front, Andrews has grown corporate and broadcast partnerships to new levels, built strong platforms for the league’s special events such as the All-Star Classic and Calder Cup Finals, and has overseen dramatic increases in league-wide revenues and franchise values.
A native of Nova Scotia, Andrews assumed his duties as AHL President in July 1994 with a first-hand knowledge of the league; he served on the Board of Governors as the Edmonton Oilers’ director of AHL operations for seven years, building the Cape Breton Oilers franchise into one of the most successful AHL clubs both on and off the ice – contributing to two Stanley Cup championships (1988, 1990) and the 1993 Calder Cup title. Andrews received the James C. Hendy Award as the AHL’s outstanding executive in 1990.
Prior to joining the Oilers, Andrews was employed by the government of Canada as a senior consultant with SportCanada. In that position, he was responsible for providing direction to five national Winter Olympic sport organizations in the development of the national team for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Andrews’ hockey background includes serving as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League from 1982-84, and he served as an assistant coach for the Cougars when they represented the WHL in the 1981 Memorial Cup. He has also served as head coach of the 1982 Canadian National Under-18 Program.
Andrews was the Hockey Development Coordinator for the Province of British Columbia from 1975-80. He served 10 years on the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association’s Developmental Council and was chairman of the coaching committee for CAHA during that time. During his playing days as a goaltender, Andrews was a conference all-star and MVP at both Dalhousie University and the University of British Columbia. He played four years professionally for RAAK in the Dutch first division.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Andrews was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2010 for contributions to hockey in the United States. He has also been honored with induction into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. And in addition to his position with the AHL, Andrews currently serves as Chairman of the Selection Committee for the Order of Hockey in Canada, and as Vice-Chairman of the Hockey Canada Foundation.
Andrews and his wife, Marleen, have three children — Chrissy, Brad and Jeff — and seven grandchildren.