The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today that Steve Ryan has been selected to fill the role of Commissioner of the CHL.
“We are very excited about the future of the Central Hockey League and what Steve’s leadership and vision will bring to that future,” said Rodney Steven, CHL Executive Committee Chairman. “Steve has tremendous experience and knowledge and was an obvious choice to lead the League.”
“Ryan’s background covers not only experience in the hockey world, but experience as a Commissioner of a major league,” said Matt Adams, Missouri Mavericks Owner.
The newly appointed Commissioner brings with him to the CHL a broad domestic and international portfolio in sports and entertainment, including an extensive background as a senior executive with the National Hockey League and interaction with all levels of minor league hockey in the United States.
“I am excited to join the CHL,” stated Ryan. “I look forward engaging the League’s loyal fan base and to working closely with Rodney Steven, Matt Adams, and all of the CHL team owners and staffs, League personnel, the players, as well as League and team corporate sponsors and partners to build up and accelerate the League’s position for growth.”
Most recently, the New York City native founded Ryan Enterprises in 2008, a global advisory and management consulting company, specializing in media, sports and entertainment, delivering customized advisory, digital and broadcast media solutions, primarily focused on acquisitions, communications strategies, marketing partnerships, and licensing programs.
Prior, Ryan was the Commissioner and Chief Executive Office of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) for eight seasons. During his tenure, Ryan oversaw and orchestrated the restructure of the League’s operations, successfully negotiated major League-wide television agreements with ESPN, Fox Sports World (now Fox Soccer Channel), and VERSUS (now the NBC Sports Network - NBCSN), and was the architect who crafted the highly popular and successful MISL All-Star Weekend.
The Fordham University graduate served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Pittsburgh Sports Associates, the holding company that operated the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Pittsburgh Stingers Indoor Soccer Team, the Russian Penguins (the Red Army Team in Moscow) and the Iceoplex Entertainment venue.
Prior to working in Pittsburgh, Ryan was the President and Chief Operating Officer of NHL Enterprises, Inc. (from 1981-1995). NHL Enterprises is the global marketing and entertainment company owned by the National Hockey League Member Clubs that oversees licensing, corporate sponsorship, event marketing, creative services and other operations. In this role, Ryan spearheaded numerous initiatives still in place today, including the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the NHL Television Awards Special that annually celebrates the excellence of the NHL
Ryan will assume his new role immediately and will guide the League into a new era which shifted dramatically this past summer when Central Partners, LLC purchased the league making it an owner-owned venture.
The CHL begins its 22nd season in October with 10 clubs covering eight states and one Canadian province. The League’s two most senior clubs are the Wichita Thunder and Tulsa Oilers who have been in operation since 1992 and the two newest franchises are the Brampton Beast and the St. Charles Chill who will dropping the puck for the first time on Opening Weekend (October 18-20). Other clubs include the Allen Americans, the Arizona Sundogs, the Denver Cutthroats, the Missouri Mavericks, the Quad City Mallards and the Rapid City Rush.