Longtime commissioner decides to step away from hockey

Published August 10, 2023 at 11:19 PM

One of the most enduring commissioners in North American hockey is gearing up for a well-deserved retirement at the close of the upcoming season. Numerous media outlets and even the Ontario Hockey League itself are buzzing with this news.

The spotlight shines on David Branch, who took the reins as the head of the OHL back in 1980. As the summer unfolded, he informed the board of governors that this forthcoming season, his impressive 45th, would mark the conclusion of his illustrious leadership. The league promptly issued a statement to share this significant decision.

Branch's tenure within the league, as well as his influence on the Canadian Hockey League at large, has undeniably been marked by success. A pivotal figure in introducing a scholarship program that offers a year of post-secondary education for each season played, he has also championed player safety, non-violence, and mental well-being. Regardless of personal viewpoints, his role in implementing regulations to curb the frequency of fights in the OHL and his contribution to the introduction of a blindside hit rule within the league and the CHL cannot be overlooked.

While the search is still on for Branch's successor as the Ontario Hockey League commissioner, it's worth noting that he passed the torch of CHL president to Dan MacKenzie in September 2019, marking a notable transition in the world of North American hockey leadership.

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August 10   |   24 answers
Longtime commissioner decides to step away from hockey

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