Blues hire new president of business ops; Affleck assumes other duties

Bruce Affleck (left), now a Blues executive vice president, was replaced by Chris Zimmerman as president of business operations.

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues announced today that veteran sports executive Chris Zimmerman has been hired as president and chief executive officer of business operations for the franchise.

Bruce Affleck had held the role as president of business operations and alternate governor.

Zimmerman, 54, has over 30 years of experience in sports, marketing and business management.  He served most recently as president of Easton Sports and previously was president of the Vancouver Canucks.

He is expected to begin work with the Blues as soon as Tuesday.

In addition to running the Canucks, Zimmerman’s resume includes an 11-year run with Nike, where he was influential in growing the iconic brand. He served as general manager of Nike Golf, where he leveraged business relationships with Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour. Zimmerman also was president and CEO of Nike Bauer Hockey, playing a major role in Nike Bauer Hockey becoming the top equipment and apparel provider in the industry.

After leaving the Canucks in 2009, Zimmerman spent four years as President of Easton Sports and was a member of the Los Angeles Kings’ business advisory group while also running his own strategic consulting business.

Blues chairman Tom Stillman has a relationship with Zimmerman that stretches 30 years. The two played hockey together with the St. Nick’s Hockey Club in the 1980s.

"Chris has an exceptional record of building fan and consumer engagement for a diverse set of sports brands," Stillman said. "Chris has a passion for the game of hockey and a commitment to building great organizations, and I am confident he will drive our business forward as we continue to pursue a Stanley Cup for St. Louis."

Zimmerman attended the University of Vermont, where he played hockey and served as an assistant hockey coach of his alma mater Babson College.

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"I am thrilled with the opportunity to join the St. Louis Blues and to contribute to the club’s storied history," Zimmerman said. "I can’t wait to start working with everyone in the Blues’ organization, as well as fans, corporate partners and the rest of the community as we continue building a championship-caliber franchise."

Zimmerman will also oversee the Scottrade Center as well as the Blues’ role and interest in the Peabody Opera House.

Affleck has played a major role in improving the Blues’ business operations since taking over two years ago. Sources say he has decided to move into a new role so he can focus on developing his enhanced relationships with local St. Louis companies. Affleck’s new title is executive vice president and he will work closely with Zimmerman and Stillman.

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