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Hockey Canada CEO Nicholson stepping down @NHLdotcom

Bob Nicholson is stepping down as president and CEO of Hockey Canada effective June 1, he announced Friday.

"I have mixed emotions in making this announcement, as it marks an end to an extraordinary part of my life, but I think the time is right for me personally to step down," Nicholson said.

Nicholson has held the dual positions since 1998. During that time, the Canada men have won three gold medals in the span of four Winter Olympics, starting at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and continuing with back-to-back wins in Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014). Canada's women have won four consecutive gold medals.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was among those who praised Nicholson's efforts on behalf of the sport.

"Bob is a good friend, colleague and partner whose skill at accomplishing terrific results was exceeded only by his passion for Canada and hockey," Commissioner Bettman said. "He deserves nothing less than our gratitude and best wishes for his future endeavors."

Overall, Canada's national teams have won 76 medals at world championships, Olympics and World Cups, including 44 gold medals, with Nicholson at the helm.

"On behalf of the board of Hockey Canada, but also on behalf of the millions of Canadians involved in the game of hockey, I want to thank Bob Nicholson for his outstanding service to our organization, and also to hockey in Canada and around the world," said Jim Hornell, chairman of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors. "I would personally like to wish Bob well in his future endeavors, and thank him for a legacy of success and professionalism that he has helped grow at Hockey Canada."

The Board of Directors will announce a timeline for naming Nicholson's successor in the coming months.

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