Chris Hebb stands next to a personalized Toronto Raptors jersey given to him for his 50th birthday by his colleagues at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. (Nick Greenizan/Langley Times Photo)

Chris Hebb stands next to a personalized Toronto Raptors jersey given to him for his 50th birthday by his colleagues at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. (Nick Greenizan/Langley Times Photo)

Hebb lands BCHL commish post

Formerly worked for Orca Bay and Maple Leaf Sports

Brent Mutis

BCHL Media

Chris Hebb is the new commissioner of the B.C. Hockey League.

Hebb is a former senior executive with two of the biggest sports and entertainment companies in Canada — Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment (OBSE) in Vancouver and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) in Toronto.

From 2006 to 2013, Hebb was senior vice-president of Content and Communications for MLSE. Hebb oversaw all broadcast and digital properties for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC of Major League Soccer and the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies. He was also responsible for running their three TV networks (NBATV Canada, GOLTV Canada and Leafs TV).

Before joining MLSE, Hebb spent 11 years with OBSE, owners of the Vancouver Canucks, the Vancouver Grizzlies and General Motors Place. Hebb served as Vice-President of Broadcast and led the organization into the digital age by launching the Canucks website and streaming the first NHL games to ever be viewed online.

More recently, he has been president of Starting Five Media Consulting Ltd., a company advising sports organizations on business strategy and development. Clients there included Canada Soccer, Oilers Entertainment Group, USports, Vancouver Whitecaps, Hockey Canada, Curling Canada and BC Lotteries Corporation.

“The BCHL has a tremendous reputation in hockey development,” said Hebb, a native of Prince Rupert. “I’m pleased to continue the good work that’s been done, to give young men a platform to grow as hockey players and a path to a great career. But, I also look forward to helping our 17 teams raise their profile, increase league revenues and solidify our position as the best Junior A hockey league in North America.”

Hebb replaces former NHL defenceman John Grisdale, who ran the Junior A league from 2003 to 2018, the longest tenure in league history. Grisdale’s time with the league saw unprecedented growth in numbers of players committed to college, including a league-record 152 players this year alone. Grisdale saw 67 players drafted into the NHL after having played in the BCHL, including the likes of Kyle Turris, Justin Schultz and Tyson Jost.

“Having known Chris for nearly 25 years, I am happy to see him take on this position and look forward to seeing the league grow under his stewardship,” said Rod Brind’Amour, head coach of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and a BCHL parent. His son, Skyler, won a Royal Bank Cup last month with the Chilliwack Chiefs and has an NCAA scholarship with the Michigan State Spartans.

The BCHL’s board of governors had a chance to meet Hebb last week at the league’s annual general meeting in Richmond.

“We are confident with Chris’s background and experience that he is the right person to take our league into a new era,” said Graham Fraser, the chairman of the BCHL board of governors. “During the search process, Chris separated himself from the group of applicants not only with his resume but also with his ideas for taking the BCHL to even greater heights. We are extremely happy to have him on board.”

Hebb’s athletic background includes a national title as a member of the University of Victoria Vikings basketball team that was also inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame. He graduated from UVic with a Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics. He began his professional career as a sports anchor and television producer with CKVU (now City TV) and BCTV (now Global BC).

The league also approved a new overtime format for next season. Teams will play sudden-death 3-on-3 for five minutes and then proceed to a three-round shootout if still tied. Teams used to go 3-on-3 and then 4-on-4 with no shootout. There were 22 overtime ties last season.

Just Posted

Teenagers make their way to Truswell Road after a party is broken up by police at the end of Mission Creek (Lorraine Besner/Contributed).
Truswell Road residents concerned about ongoing alleged underage beach parties

Public urination, property damage, drinking and drug usage have become weekly concerns

Voix du Coeur is bringing music to seniors in retirement homes as restrictions slowly start to ease. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Trio sings opera to Okanagan seniors as pandemic restrictions ease

Voix du Coeur travel around the Okanagan to bring the joy of music to seniors for free

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Most Read