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Monday, June 05, 2006

Santos - Official Announcement

For Immediate Release


Frisco, Texas -- Michael Santos, commissioner and president of the North American Hockey League, has announced he will leave his current position at the conclusion of his contract, June 30, 2006, to accept a job as director of hockey operations for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.

The NAHL Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 6, and it is expected that the search for a replacement will commence at that meeting.

In a letter to the Board, Santos said, “I thank you for the opportunity to serve the NAHL for approximately the past two years and seven months. I am proud of the progress the league has made during that time and look forward to watching it enjoy future successes.”

Santos has served as the commissioner of the North American Hockey League since October of 2003.

The NAHL experienced unprecedented growth and popularity during Santos’ tenure, expanding to 20 teams in the 2005-06 season, becoming a truly nationwide junior league.

The league also boosted attendance to nearly three-quarters of a million fans in the 2005-06 regular season and playoffs.

Under his leadership, the NAHL also staged successful Showcase tournaments in Blaine, Minnesota, including one with the Eastern Junior Hockey League in 2005, which brought together 30 teams and 700 players for college and pro scouts, the largest junior hockey Showcase ever.

He also spearheaded the return of the NAHL All-Star Game in 2005, a highly entertaining contest in which the league All-Stars defeated the Junior A champion Texas Tornado 3-1 in Frisco, Texas.

Santos also inaugurated programs which created league-wide partnerships for game and replica jerseys (with OT Sports), equipment and novelties (Sher-wood/InGlasCo.) and licensed merchandise.

His agreement with LoudShot Media led to the relaunching of and the five-fold growth of the league’s website traffic, including all-time one-day highs in unique visitors (over 10,100) and “clicks” (over 750,000). Under the agreement, LoudShot has also provided the NAHL with numerous new logos with a fresh, unified look that helped brand the NAHL.

Among the league’s other achievements during Santos’ tenure were the first recruiting video in six seasons, the first NAHL Yearbook in four years and the creation of an on-line shop for league merchandise, the NAHL Locker Room

Santos began his career with the National Hockey League office in New York in 1988 before working for the AHL’s New Haven Nighthawks from 1989-91. In 1991, Santos returned to the NHL as manager of special events for six years before being named assistant general manager and director of hockey operations of the New York Islanders in 1997. He then joined the Florida Panthers as the director of hockey operations and corporate counsel for the 2002-03 season before moving on to the NAHL.

A native of Lowell Mass., Santos is a 1986 graduate of Boston College. He received his master’s from the United States Sports Academy in 1989 and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the St. John’s University School of Law in 1998.

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