Director of Hockey Operations
Michael Santos enters his fourth season as Director of Hockey Operations in Nashville with 21 years of experience in the hockey industry. His responsibilities include negotiating player contracts, salary arbitration preparation and research and negotiating and overseeing minor league affiliation agreements with the Milwaukee Admirals and Cincinnati Cyclones. He is also involved with fiscal and strategic planning, evaluating pro players and managing the club’s payroll, salary cap and compliance with the CBA as well as the day-to-day business operations of the hockey department.
Santos began his career with the NHL’s New York office in 1988 before working for the AHL’s New Haven Nighthawks from 1989-91. He returned to the NHL and spent six seasons as the league’s Manager of Special Events establishing both the SuperSkills and Heroes of Hockey programs in addition to overseeing arena operations for the All-Star Weekend, Entry Draft and Stanley Cup Finals.
Santos went to work for the New York Islanders in 1997 and became Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations before leaving and becoming Director of Hockey Operations and Corporate Counsel for the Florida Panthers in 2002. He was named Commissioner and President of the North American Hockey League in 2003 and led the Junior “A” league through three seasons of unprecedented growth before arriving in Nashville.
Born in Boston and a native of Lowell, Mass., Santos is a 1986 graduate of Boston College. He received his Master’s Degree from the United States Sports Academy in 1989, earned his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998, has been a member of the New York state bar since 1999 and serves on USA Hockey’s junior and legal councils.