Brian McKenna is in his 16th season as Commissioner of the ECHL and continues his mission to provide great entertainment value for an ever-increasing fan base.
The ECHL has become an integral part of the professional hockey player development process as over 620 players have gone on to play in the NHL after the ECHL including 23 who made their NHL debut in 2016-17.
The ECHL averaged 4,251 fans per game in 2016-17, marking the 13th consecutive season and the 25th time in the last 27 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.
The ECHL continues to be the leading source of talent for the American Hockey League and the NHL. The ECHL has affiliations with 27 of the 31 teams in the NHL in 2017-18. It is the 21st consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 teams in the AHL in 2017-18, the 17th season in a row that the ECHL has had affiliations with 20 or more teams in the AHL.
In addition to giving its fans fast-paced and affordable entertainment, the ECHL also provides a top-notch hockey environment for the best young players who are not playing in the AHL or NHL. Also, as a result of ECHL teams locating to non-traditional markets, particularly in the South and West, youth hockey programs have developed in these markets resulting in thousands of young players being introduced to the game. The ECHL continues to build its relationship with the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) as the two work to grow the sport at the ‘AA’ level. The League is currently entering year five of a five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, negotiated in 2012.
McKenna came to the ECHL Office from Trenton where he served as President and General Manager from the team’s inception until prior to the 2002-03 season. He was named ECHL Executive of the Year following Trenton’s inaugural season in 1999-2000, a season that saw the Titans average more than 7,000 fans per game during the regular season and advance to the Northern Conference Finals in the postseason.
Before he joined the Titans, McKenna was Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Carolina Monarchs in the American Hockey League, the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers. The Monarchs set a single-game AHL indoor attendance record of 20,672 in 1997. Prior to joining the Monarchs, McKenna was the Director of Hockey Operations for the Ottawa Senators in the National Hockey League from 1992-94, including serving as Governor for the Senators’ AHL franchise, and was the Director of Sales for the Senators from 1990-92. Active in hockey since 1980 for numerous teams at various levels, McKenna was inducted into the Fredericton, New Brunswick, Sports Wall of Fame on May 7, 2011.
McKenna earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of New Brunswick. A native of Prince Edward Island, Brian and his wife, Marlene, reside in New Jersey.