John Collins steps down as NHL COO

One of the NHL's innovation leaders is leaving the league.

NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins resigned today to "pursue other business opportunities." Collins is credited as a driving force behind creation of the Winter Classic and the overall popularization of things like the Stadium Series. So if you hated those, I guess this is good news.

Collins also played a role in establishing the NHL's social media policy, including a significant presence on YouTube, something leagues like MLB and the NFL are...well, a little dinosaur-y in. The new deal with MLBAM also can be credited to Collins.

Responsibility for the creation of the World Cup of Hockey, as an invention by the NHL (and for the NHL), lays upon his shoulders (in part) as well.

He has been with the NHL since 2006 and took over as COO in 2008. No replacement has been named at this time.