Nicholson, former CEO and current Oilers executive, to appear at upcoming Hockey Canada hearings


Nicholson, 69, was president and CEO of Hockey Canada from 1998 until 2014, when he left for Oilers Entertainment Group, where he is now CEO, and was replaced by Tom Renney.

Former chief executive officer (CEO) of Hockey Canada and current head of the Oilers Entertainment Group, Bob Nicholson, has been subpoenaed to appear at the upcoming safe sport hearings in Ottawa, to be held November 15.

Also called to appear is Pat McLaughlin, senior vice-president of strategy, operations and brand at Hockey Canada.

It’s unclear whether Nicholson and McLaughlin will appear in person or virtually. At the previous hearing, on Oct. 4, Andrea Skinner, then chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors, and former president Michael Brind’Amour both appeared by videoconference.

“As far as Mr. Nicholson is concerned, he has had a very long involvement with the organization and was there during the 2003 incident in Halifax, among other things,” said Anthony Housefather, parliamentary committee member and Liberal MP ( MP), to Sportsnet via email as why Nicholson was called.

Nicholson, 69, was president and CEO of Hockey Canada from 1998 until 2014, when he left for Oilers Entertainment Group, where he is now CEO, and was replaced by Tom Renney. From 1979 to 1989, Nicholson was technical director of the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association. He then served as Vice President of Technical Operations for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), and served as Senior Vice President when CAHA merged with Hockey Canada in 1994.

Nicholson is credited with fostering Hockey Canada’s successful business model by negotiating lucrative television deals for tournaments, improving women’s teams and programs, and instituting methods to build team chemistry quickly. time, resulting in many international listings from Canada. He has also been a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) as Regional Vice President for the Americas since 2012. Nicholson was in charge of Hockey Canada when an alleged group sexual assault occurred in 2003 in Halifax , allegedly involving members of the 2003 Canadian World Championship junior team, almost all of whom played in the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which oversaw hearings into how Hockey Canada handled the settlement of a lawsuit brought by a woman accusing players of Canada’s World Junior Team of gang sexual assault in London, Ontario , in 2018, is also requesting key documents regarding former CEO Scott Smith’s severance package.

Specifically, the committee sent for documents from Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation, around, according to the minutes of their last meeting, “the minutes of all board meetings held since the last minutes were sent to the committee, including in camera Minutes, whether approved or in draft form”, “Scott Smith’s Employment Agreement as amended from the first to the last date of his employment with Hockey Canada” and “The Agreement departure of Scott Smith”. The committee requests that all documents be sent to its clerk by 10 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) / 7 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on Monday, October 31.

Smith, 55, had worked for Hockey Canada since 1995, as vice-president and chief operating officer. He took over on July 1 as President and Chief Executive Officer from Tom Renney, who left the organization in a previously decided retirement. He was ousted by Hockey Canada on October 11, the same day the entire board, including Chairman Skinner, resigned.

Housefather told Sportsnet the committee wanted to make sure Smith’s severance deal was “in line with market standards and that the terms have not been changed in recent months, but rather that it was in line with a labor agreement negotiated before the recent crisis”.

Hockey Canada also announced that it is now a full signatory to Abuse-Free Sport, the new independent program to prevent and address abuse in sport in Canada. This decision means that effective immediately, all abuse, discrimination and harassment complaints at the national level will go directly to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner. It was one of three conditions the Minister of Sport had set for Hockey Canada to get its government funding back.


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