SBD/Issue 51/Collegiate Sports

Former NHLPA Exec Dir Kelly To Head College Hockey Initiative

Kelly Will Work To Promote
Division I College Hockey
Former NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly has accepted a job as the Exec Dir of the newly-formed College Hockey Inc., according to Kevin Allen of USA TODAY. The Hockey Commissioners Association created the organization in order to raise “the profile of Division I hockey.” Kelly's hiring will be formally announced tomorrow. He was fired by the NHLPA Exec Committee on August 31, “less than two years after he took over” as Exec Dir. Although there “have been reports of some players wanting to bring back Kelly,” his decision to take the college post “would seem to suggest he has moved on” (, 11/20). In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont noted Kelly’s mission will be to “spread the word, mainly to US and Canadian-born youngsters, that the college game is a viable alternative, if not a preferred option, to playing major junior hockey in Canada.” Kelly said, “Not only do I love the challenge, but I love the idea that I get to build this initiative from the ground up. I knew I wanted to remain in hockey in a meaningful way.” Dupont notes College Hockey Inc. will be headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, “not far from Kelly’s home in Needham, and he soon will hire a staff.” Much of the mission “will center around a marketing campaign, one that no doubt will be directed at the parents of teenagers who begin to make important career/education decisions around hockey as early as age 14.” Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said, “All the Division 1 commissioners are thrilled to have Paul aboard. He brings credibility, skill, contacts, and personality to what we believe is a vital position” (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/22). THE HOCKEY NEWS’ Ken Campbell reported Kelly also will be the “liaison between the NCAA and a number of other hockey bodies, including the NHL and NHLPA” (, 11/21).

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