February 20, 2012 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Kelly Resigns From College Hockey Inc.

CHN Staff Report

Paul Kelly, the one time head of the NHL Players Association, has resigned his post as Executive Director of College Hockey Inc.

College Hockey Inc. was created two years ago by the Hockey Commissioners Association to be the marketing and educational arm of college hockey. The hiring of Kelly made an immediate splash in hockey circles because of his name.

According to USCHO, Kelly was forced to resign by the Hockey Commissioners Association, the group that is ostensibly his boss, because he was reaching out to athletic directors in an attempt to seize more power.

CHN sources said that similar issues have arisen in the past, but didn't rise to this level.

The position was created to assist in marketing, and to educate the masses on the benefits of college hockey. However, the role is limited because the schools and conferences still have authority over most matters, which was a source of frustration for Kelly, sources indicate.

Kelly could not be reached, but in a text message to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Kelly said., "Time to move on. I told them I'd give them two-three years to get the entity established and operational. It's been 28 months and it's time for a new challenge. Although I did enjoy being of service to the college; great group of coaches, media and other personnel."

The commissioners put out only a brief release.

“The HCA would like to thank Paul for his service to CHI and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” HCA President, and ECAC commissioner, Steve Hagwell said in the statement.

However, the statement also said that the commissioners may choose to "chart a different course" for the position. The HCA has not said anything about a replacement, but may hire someone in the interim.

Kelly was head of the NHLPA for two years, even meeting with the Hockey Commissioners on several occasions while in that role. He was ousted by the union's executive board in 2009 in a clandestine vote.

Prior to that, Kelly practiced law in Boston for 25 years, representing a variety of NHL players during that time.

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