Bob Nicholson named president of Canadian Hockey Association
February 2, 1998

TORONTO, Ont. - The Canadian Hockey Association Board of Directors has appointed senior vice-president Bob Nicholson the new president of the CHA, replacing outgoing president Murray Costello, chairman Bob MacKinnon announced Monday.

Nicholson will assume the duties of president and CEO on July 1, following the CHA's annual general meeting. Costello is retiring following a 19-year career as president of the governing body for hockey in Canada. Nicholson was selected following a nationwide search, a screening process and extensive interviews with a short list of highly qualified candidates. He was introduced as the new president at a news conference Monday at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

"Murray Costello has been an exemplary leader for the CHA and an effective and eloquent representative for Canada's hockey interests at the International Ice Hockey Federation," said MacKinnon. "He set a high standard of leadership and expertly steered the Canadian Hockey Association through many difficult moments, as well as many exciting changes over his 19 years."

On Costello's watch, the CHA introduced Canada's National Women's Team, and hosted the first-ever IIHF World Women's Championship in 1990 in Ottawa. He also presided over the merger of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada in 1994, creating a single hockey-governing body - the Canadian Hockey Association.

Nicholson, 44, who joined the CHA in 1990 after serving eight years as technical director of the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association, has worked beside Costello as a vice-president for the past eight years. Last July, he was appointed senior vice-president.

"It is the CHA's great good fortune that an executive of the calibre of Bob Nicholson is ready to move into the presidency and lead the organization into the next century," said Costello. "Continuity is crucial for a large, volunteer-based organization such as ours and I am confident Bob will move smoothly into his new duties."

Costello said he will work closely with Nicholson over the next five months to ensure the transition of leadership is as seamless as possible.

"It is an extraordinary honour for me to accept this new challenge," said Nicholson. "I am moving into this new role at a very exciting time for the game of hockey in Canada and around the world, and I pledge to do all I can to make the hockey experience for all of our more than 500,000 participants a rich and rewarding one."

Nicholson accepted his new duties on the eve of departing for Nagano, where he will oversee the men's and women's Olympic teams at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The Games mark the introduction of women's hockey to the Olympics, as well as the first time that National Hockey League players will participate.

The Olympics represent a high performance highlight for Nicholson, who has fashioned an extraordinary success record during his tenure as vice-president. During his years as vice-president, Nicholson has worked with Canada's National Junior Team as it won five straight gold medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship, won gold (1997), silver (1996) and bronze (1995) with Canada's National Men's Team at the IIHF World Championship, and piloted Canada's National Women's Team to three gold of its four gold medals (1992, 1994, 1997).

A former coach at the Junior A level, as well as with the regional Under-17 team (Team Pacific) and Team B.C. at the Canada Winter Games, Nicholson has been instrumental in implementing team building as one of the hallmarks of Canada's national teams in international competitions. The various team-building components that have helped numerous Canadian teams swiftly develop team chemistry in the context of short international competitions are often imitated by Canada's opponents.

Indeed, hockey federations around the globe look to the Canadian Hockey Association for leadership on a wide range of development areas. Maintaining and enhancing Canada's role as a world leader in hockey is the challenge Nicholson has accepted in assuming the role of president of the Canadian Hockey Association.

For more information:

Director, Communications
Hockey Canada


Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4567 / 905-906-5327 (mobile)
[email protected]


Katie Macleod
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427 / 403-612-2893 (mobile)
[email protected]


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