|Allen Americans President - Matt Canavan|
One of the privileges of writing this blog over the last three years is getting to know the Allen Americans front office staff. Team President, Matt Canavan, has been with the team from day one when the Allen Event Center was just a construction project. Matt does not seek publicity, you might see him on the ice a few times a year presenting an award or thanking the fans for their support, but he is the conductor that makes the symphony work. It is no secret the Allen Americans struggled financially through the transition from one ownership group to another a couple of years ago. It was Matt who was responsible for holding everything together through some very trying times when he didn't have the resources needed to get the job done. There isn't anything that happens with the team that Matt doesn't get involved with. Here are my personal observations of what I have seen Matt be involved with over the last seven years. Players contracts, insurance, housing, discipline, corporate sponsorship, budget, ticket sales, fan complaints, travel, marketing, game operations, scheduling, coordinating with the AEC staff, promotions, ordering championship rings, visiting with fans, dealing with bus issues, accompanying injured fans to the hospital, owners meetings, publicity and this is just a partial list. Matt has gone out of his way to educate me on the business side of the Allen Americans and is always willing to take the time to answer questions and explain what is happening behind the scenes. He is no doubt the unsung hero of the Allen Americans and has been a major contributor to the team's success since its inception. The next time you see Matt Canavan in the concourse of the AEC thank him for all he has done to make the Allen Americans franchise a success. In order to get to know Matt a little better, here is his bio that was in the recently published ECHL 2015-16 Official Guide and Record Book.
Matt Canavan enters his seventh year as president of the Allen Americans, where he oversees the team's day-to-day operations. He has spent over 20 years working in the sports and entertainment industry. Canavan got his start in the ECHL in 1993, working with the expansion Huntington Blizzard while attending Marshall University. Following the Blizzard, Matt worked for the El Paso Buzzards in 1996-97 and they won the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) championship in the league's inaugural season. He later went on to the expansion Fort Worth Brahmas of the WPHL. He helped design and build the Blue Line Ice Complex, a three-sheet multi-purpose facility, now known as NYTEX, and home to the Texas Brahmas of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Canavan worked in corporate partnerships for the Florida Panthers in the NHL from 2001-03 highlighted by hosting the NHL All Star Game in 2003. Following the 2003 season with the Panthers, Matt moved back to Texas for an opportunity to work for the Texas Tornado of the NAHL in the Dr. Pepper Star Center in Frisco, which opened in 2003. He spent five seasons with the Tornado, a team that produced three straight National Championships (Robertson Cup) from 2004-2006. Matt was instrumental in bringing hockey to Allen in 2009 and has been with the team since its inception. Canavan has eight championships under his belt during his career - seven as an executive and one as a high school hockey coach. Matt resides in The Colony with his wife Tracey, daughter Kate (11) and son John (14).
DID YOU KNOW: For the last three years, Matt Canavan, a fitness enthusiast, has participated in the Cooper Triathlon Series at Craig Ranch and done very well. What makes it unique is Matt has had the championship trophy in tow for the entire race all three years. The first two years it was the Presidents' Cup and this past September, Matt had the 50 pound Kelly Cup in tow for the swimming, biking and running. Quite an accomplishment!
|Matt Canavan finishing the triathlon with the Kelly Cup|