Course Overview

Hockey operations represent the bulk of a franchise’s expenses and have the most significant long term impact on revenues and team equity. As a result, hockey ops have the biggest impact on a franchise’s bottom line both directly (e.g., salaries) and indirectly (i.e., competitive advantage). For this reason, it is essential that every hockey executive have some understanding of hockey operations and the trends that are affecting them.

This course is intended to provide that understanding; it is not intended to turn students into General Managers. The course delves into the essentials for making hockey teams more competitive on the ice with a focus on the costs of being competitive both on and off the ice.  Both traditional and new techniques and tools (i.e., information technologies and recent developments in behavioral psychology) for scouting talent, negotiating player and coach contracts, and trading players effectively are discussed.

The course addresses the impact of free agency, collective bargaining agreements, and salary caps on attaining and maintaining top player talent/personnel and the implications of all of these things on team performance. The role of analytics to improve player and coach performance is explored.  Students are exposed to pertinent legal developments as well as negotiation strategies.  Throughout the course, connections are made between hockey operations and the franchise’s marketing and business strategies so that senior executives and ownership is equipped to keep hockey ops staff and senior management accountable more effectively and in a more timely manner than has traditionally been the case.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply specific tools, techniques and technologies for improving on-ice performance.
  • Evaluate both traditional and new methods for scouting and evaluating players.
  • Demonstrate awareness of Rinknet Scouting Software and the ways it is being used across leagues.
  • Demonstrate awareness of Steva Hockey digital software and its potential to support player, coach, and team development.
  • Understand how analytics are used to improve player and coach performance.
  • Appreciate the applicability of models of behavioural psychology to enhance player and team performance.
  • Acquire and apply negotiation skills and strategies relevant to: player, coach and team contracts, free agency, and trades.
  • Identify key strategies for maximizing franchise, facility and venue operations.
  • Use collaborative strategies and identify ways to build collaborative capacity so that hockey operations and the marketing and strategy side of the business can work together effectively.