Milestone Event: NHL & SHL Business Forum - Growing the Game
International hockey encompasses elite professional leagues such as the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and the National Hockey League (NHL), each playing a significant role in the global ice hockey landscape. The SHL, based in Sweden, stands out for its high level of competition, featuring skilled players and fostering a strong development system. Teams within the SHL attract both domestic and international talent, contributing to the league's reputation as a breeding ground for top-tier hockey prospects. On the other side of the Atlantic, the NHL reigns as the premier professional hockey league in North America and is widely regarded as the most competitive in the world. The NHL showcases a melting pot of talent from various countries, with players competing at the highest level fro the prestigious Stanley Cup.
In connection with the 2023 NHL Global Series, where hockey games are played in Stockholm featuring the NHL clubs Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs, the Center for Sports & Business, the Swedish Hockey League, and the National Hockey League decideed to organize the NHL & SHL Business Forum - Growing the Game, at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Close to 300 individuals gathered at the Stockholm School of Economics for an evening where we explored the dynamic world of hockey and its potential for growth and innovation. The forum featured distinguished speakers and experts, and culminated in insights and invaluable networking opportunities. During the evening, topics such as sustainability, the impact of hockey on society, and even life after the adrenaline-fueled days on ice were explored.
Welcome Address and Setting the Scene
Martin Carlsson-Wall, Professor and Director for the Center for Sports & Business at the Stockholm School of Economics started the evening with setting the scene and served as the moderator throughout the program.
Impact by SHL - for People, Society and the World of Hockey
Next, Jenny Silfverstrand, CEO of the Swedish Hockey League delivered her keynote speech by addressing the importance Swedish Hockey plays for people, society and the world of hockey.
The State of Hockey is Good
David Proper, Senior Executive VP of Media and International Strategy at the National Hockey League (NHL) addressed the state of hockey in his keynote speech.
Panel 1: Innovation and Sustainability in Hockey - Evolving and Growing the Game
The evening's first panel featured Omar Mitchell, VP of Industry Growth and Sustainability at the NHL, Johan Cahling, Head of Sustainable Development at the SHL, Kim Martin, Head of Sports at Frölunda HC, Anna Lidström, Head of Sustainability at Spendrups, as well as Dietmar Steinbichler, Enterprise Architect at SAP.
Mingle and Networking
After the first half of the evening's program, guests were invited to the SSE Atrium for mingle and networking.
Panel 2: Life after Hockey - How to Create Meaning when the Game Adrenaline is Gone?
The second panel featured Brendan Shanahan, President of Toronto Maple Leafs, Bill Guerin, General Manager and President of Hockey Operations, Minnesota Wild and Rob Zepp, Director Strategic Initiatives, NHLPA and evolved around life after hockey - how to create meaning when the game adrenaline is gone.
The evening's closing remarks were delivered by Anders Larsson, Chairman of the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation and IIHF Council Member.
Mingle and Refreshments
After the program in the Aula, the NHL & SHL Business Forum continued with mingle and refreshments in the SSE Atrium long into the evening.