David Andrews (born 1948) is a Canadian ice hockey executive and former player. He is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hockey League (AHL), the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League. He has been inducted into both the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame (2005) and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame (2006), and in 2010 he was a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award for contributions to hockey in the United States.
Born in Nova Scotia, Andrews attended King's-Edgehill School in Windsor, Nova Scotia, then went on to Dalhousie University in Halifax and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he excelled in varsity hockey at these institutions as a goaltender, garnering multiple conference all-star status. After graduation, he played four years of professional hockey in the Netherlands.
Andrews became the Hockey Development Coordinator for the Province of British Columbia in 1975 and served in this capacity for five years until joining the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League as a coach. In this time, Andrews coached numerous players who became NHL standouts, including future Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr, and the Cougars were WHL champions in 1981. He took over as head coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Cougars in 1982. In addition to his involvement with the Cougars, Andrews was on the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association's Developmental Council for 10 years and was Chairman of its Coaching Committee. He coached in Canada's National Under-18 Program in 1982. From 1984 to 1987 he served as a senior consultant with Sport Canada working with five national winter sport organizations in preparing their athletes for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
From 1987 to 1994, Andrews was the Director of AHL Operations for the Edmonton Oilers and guided the Oilers' AHL affiliates, the Nova Scotia Oilers and Cape Breton Oilers. This period was highlighted by Andrews being awarded the James C. Hendy Memorial Award in 1990 as the AHL's outstanding executive, the Cape Breton Oilers setting a record with 36 sellouts in the 1990-91 season, and the Oilers capturing the 1992-93 Calder Cup as AHL champions.
Andrews assumed the presidency of the AHL in 1994, taking over from longtime President Jack Butterfield. Andrews has guided the AHL into unequaled times of prosperity, seeing record levels of attendance and exposure while expanding its geography across the United States and Canada. Under Andrews’ direction, the AHL has become the sole primary development league for all 30 National Hockey League organizations, serving as a training ground for players, coaches, executives, on-ice officials, broadcasters and training staff alike.
In 2001, Andrews led one of the largest expansion efforts ever in pro sports, a complex enterprise of bringing nine new cities into the AHL—including six from the folding International Hockey League. And in 2015, Andrews managed the complex process of relocating five AHL franchises to California, allowing for the creation of a Pacific Division to better meet the needs of western-based NHL organizations.
The league’s footprint has grown dramatically during Andrews’ tenure with successful franchises in major North American markets, while Andrews has also worked to ensure the league’s continuing success in smaller historical and traditional markets as well.
League attendance has climbed dramatically under Andrews’ leadership, more than doubling from 2.9 million in the final season before his term began in 1994 to more than 6.2 million in every season since 2001.
The league and its teams—in the regular season and in events like outdoor games, the annual AHL All-Star Classic and the Calder Cup Playoffs—have been showcased to audiences worldwide during Andrews’ tenure on television (through the years airing on national networks such as Sportsnet, CBC, TSN, NHL Network, ESPN2 and CBS Sports Network), on satellite radio and on the Internet through live on-line video streaming. Andrews was instrumental in re-introducing the All-Star Classic in 1995 after a 35-year absence, and coordinated the unique 2014 event that saw the AHL’s best host renowned Swedish club team Färjestad BK in St. John’s.
As a result of Andrews’ direction and leadership, the AHL boasts an impressive list of corporate partners who have used the growing AHL as an effective tool for marketing their products and services, highlighted by a historic partnership with Reebok-CCM that has become the foundation for the league’s marketing, licensing and on-ice branding strategies.
In January, 2016, Andrews was named the 16th Top People of Power and Influence from The Hockey News.
Andrews currently serves on the executive committee of the Hockey Canada Foundation, as Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of King's-Edgehill School in Nova Scotia, and as chairman of the selection committee for the Order of Hockey in Canada. He is also a former adjunct professor of sport management at Springfield College. He and wife Marleen have three children and live in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.