Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson stepping down, but leaves organization at its peak

Adam Proteau
Bob Nicholson (DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR)
Bob Nicholson (DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR)

Longtime Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson is scheduled to officially announce his resignation from the organization at a news conference in Toronto Friday. There was no indication as to what he planned to do after spending more than 15 years in the position, but the longtime executive has been linked to NHL GM discussions in the past – and given that he leaves with Canada’s national team enjoying an incredible run of success, it’s unlikely he’ll be out of work very long.

Nicholson has held the title of president and C.E.O. for Hockey Canada since 1998, but was senior vice-president of the Canadian Hockey Association for the previous six years. During his time running the program Nicholson led Hockey Canada to seven Olympic gold medals (three men’s and four women’s, including both golds at the 2014 Sochi Games), 12 International Ice Hockey Federation world junior championships, five IIHF men’s world championships and 10 IIHF women’s world championships. To say other hockey federations want to match his results is an understatement. The Vancouver native has also steered the organization in its role as Canada’s sole governing body for the amateur side of the sport (ice hockey and sledge hockey) and produced phenomenal metrics in growing the game.

THN’s Ken Campbell reported in 2012 Nicholson was in line to succeed IIHF president Rene Fasel and that’s a possibility this time around as well. But the 60-year-old Vancouver native is under no duress to jump into another role and millions of Canadians would agree he’s earned the right to go out on his own terms.