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By Kyle Austin - The Saginaw News
Just as Bay City native Craig Goslin moved up the ranks within the Saginaw Spirit front office, he’s moving up among the Ontario Hockey League’s decision makers.
The league’s Board of Governors voted Goslin into a spot on the league’s executive council Friday, during the last day of its annual meetings, held in Niagara.
The council, which includes four members and a chairman, is a key decision making body in league administration.
“It’s a big deal, it really is a great deal for the franchise,” Goslin said. “It shows you the respect the franchise has earned throughout the Ontario Hockey League.”
Goslin was originally hired by the Spirit as vice president of sales and marketing when the team was moved from North Bay, Ont. to Saginaw in 2002. It was his first job in the hockey industry.
He rose to become the team’s president and managing partner, and was named OHL Executive of the Year in 2006 and 2007.
“I think it’s real positive for our league, someone with Craig’s skill set joining the league executive council,” OHL commissioner David Branch said.
Goslin’s term on the committee will last two years, and consist of attending about seven meetings per year, and working closely with Branch and other league executives. Goslin is thought to be the first American-born executive to serve on the league’s executive committee.
Branch calls the executive committee the “most important committee that our league has” and a “main instrument for the league’s commissioner.”
When a report from a league committee is created, the executive committee vets it before it is voted on before the full board. Branch said the executive committee looks at league issues like finance and expansion.
Goslin also hopes to use the contacts with other league executives to find ways to improve the Spirit’s off-ice operations.
“My interest in being on the executive council is really to help us to work better together as a group of 20 teams,” Goslin said. “I’d like to see us work together for identifying best practices in the franchises, and finding ways for the teams in the league to generate more revenue, and also to decrease our expenses, because it’s not getting any less expensive to operate a franchise in this league.”
And after breaking ground and moving up to one important position, Goslin has his sights set on an even higher one.
“If your term gets renewed, you get the opportunity to go through the chairs, to become the chairman of the board of the league,” Goslin said. “That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish over the next four to six years.”
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